What flight line distance should be used?

The relationship between flight-line distances and the spatial arrangement of fox home-ranges is a key factor when considering bait distribution strategy. Therefore, to reach optimal vaccination coverage in foxes, it is essential to choose an appropriate flight line distance.

This will depend on the stage of the ORV programme and the density of the target population in a given area. Usually, at the beginning of ORV programmes, a flight line distance of 1,000 meters may still be sufficient, but it may need to be adapted accordingly during the course of ORV, especially in long-term vaccinated areas.

This can be accomplished either (i) by using double vaccination, in which in a second campaign takes place about 14 days after the first one, in the same area and using perpendicular flight lines (1,000 meters) or (ii) by reducing the flight line distance from 1,000 metres to 500 metres.

A reduction of the flight line distance to less than 500 meters is ineffective for bait-uptake and increases costs (for details see here). In Europe, nowadays, often a flight line distance of 500 meters is used at the initiation of the campaign (see here).


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Version 1 - Last updated November 2012