Using this online resource

Flight initiation distances (FID) can be summarised by this online resource in just a few simple steps. This will allow the derivation of appropriate separation distances between humans and birds on your land.

You will be able to determine the separation distances of either:

  • a) a single important species occurring on your land,
  • b) all species occurring on your land, or,
  • c) a percentage of species occurring on your land.
In addition, you can enter a nominated separation distance to find out how many species would be retained at the site (based on the assumption that repeated disturbances will eventually lead to site abandonment among the affected species).

The resource also allows you to define the level of confidence used in the analysis and to print a report of the results.

Check for regular updates to the online resource, as additional species and stimuli are frequently added to the database. This may change the proposed separation distance of some species. The "Database Version" refers to which data set your results have been generated from, this can be seen at the top of the Analysis page and the generated reports.


For more information, please contact us to obtain a publication with details on the background of the online resource and how the analyses are performed.


A few simple steps

1. Identify which species you want to protect at the site

2. Click here and then click on the species of interest to include in the separation distance estimate. You can also use the search function to narrow the species listed. Species can be searched for by either their common or scientific names. If you cannot find a species in the list, this means that there are no available FIDs.

3. Select the desired confidence level of the analysis. Confidence levels correspond to the number of FIDs available for each species and stimulus. The available confidence levels are “lower” (fewer than 5 FIDs available for a particular species/stimulus combination), “medium” (between 5 and 19 FIDs available) and “higher” (greater than 20 FIDs available). The stimuli for which data are available for the selected species and user-defined confidence level will be highlighted.

4. Select the stimuli to be included in the analysis

5. The recommended separation distance for all selected species will then be displayed. This value represents the 95th percentile of all FIDs collected for a given species (i.e. in 95% of cases birds will not be disturbed at this separation distance). The 95th percentile separation distance of the most sensitive species is presented.

6. The tool also allows you to:

  • a) manipulate the separation distance to see how many species would be retained at the site under different scenarios
  • b) manipulate the percentage of species you wish to retain to obtain a corresponding separation distance
  • The colour of the user input/output field changes depending on where data were entered. The user defined field is always highlighted in red, while the output based on this input is highlighted in green

7. To obtain a printable report of the analysis, click “Generate Report”.