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Are there any indications of animal loss during a launch (shuttle or rocket). I'm referring to animals in the vicinity. I'm sure that it's minimal, but does the exhaust/sound/etc. knock out a bunch of birds and rodents, for example? Is there a big die-off radius or anything? Maybe the noise prior to launch frightens most animals away or underground.

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    $\begingroup$ Launch site wildlife protection is a big deal also because animal migrations need to be controlled to protect launch facility assets from damage that they could do. For example, during STS launch preparations they used to have a 24/7 bird watch / wildlife spotters / volunteers crew to look for woodpeckers and they installed owl-resembling balloons around the launch site to ward them off. Some wildlife might perish during launches but there's a lot of attention put to minimizing this. Then again, it depends on where the launch site is. Some countries are more protective to wildlife than others. $\endgroup$ – TildalWave Dec 8 '14 at 11:22
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you - perfect response - I must add that I did not mean it as a critical question; just truly curious when I couldn't find any information. If anything, it sounds like in some cases, there is sincere acknowledgement. $\endgroup$ – Mikey Dec 8 '14 at 19:18
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    $\begingroup$ @TidalWave One example of the need for that was in 1953 when mice ate the insulation of the electric wiring on the R-1 rocket "requiring hundreds of cats and repairmen" :-p $\endgroup$ – LocalFluff Dec 9 '14 at 12:00
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    $\begingroup$ I heard stories from workers at KSC having to clean birds out of the chain-link fence surrounding the pad after each shuttle launch. Anecdotal only, unfortunately. $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Mar 24 '15 at 19:40
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    $\begingroup$ @TidalWave after the 2nd accident there was even an "avian radar" watch because of concern about ANYTHING hitting the tiles. $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Mar 24 '15 at 19:41
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Yes, there was at least one. Well, we're pretty sure he didn't make it.

frog flying from Antares launch

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Another confirmed launch casualty is Space Bat:

enter image description here

Bravely going where no Bat had gone before.

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    $\begingroup$ It's not probable but 100% certain that this poor bat didn't make it. It stayed there during the early launch clinging to the spray-on foam of the SSET, meaning it had to have gotten stuck to it before, likely due to frozen surface after cryogenics fueling (liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen that fuel SSME). The bottom part of the tank is filled with liquid hydrogen that causes some cryo-pumping (condensing and freezing solid atmospheric air) despite the insulation foam. Poor thing probably froze solid within seconds. $\endgroup$ – TildalWave Dec 14 '14 at 0:33
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The Shuttle nails a vulture as it clears the tower

enter image description here

Video here

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