Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for

 

Date of this Version

2008

Comments

Published in Human-Wildlife Conflicts Volume 2, Number 2, Pages 240-247, Fall 2008.

Abstract

Fences are used at many airports and small airfields to exclude wildlife from entering critical areas. However, not all fences exclude hazardous mammals reliably, and effective fences can be too expensive for small airports to purchase and maintain. In this study, we evaluated fencing at 10 small airports in Indiana and documented the presence and relative abundance of wildlife within airport boundaries using remote cameras and spotlight surveys. Only 4 airports were completely fenced, and four were <50% fenced. All airports had openings in their fence lines that would allow hazardous wildlife access to the airfields. We encountered either white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) or coyotes (Canis latrans) at nine of the airports with remote cameras and during spotlight surveys. There were fewer coyotes and white-tailed deer encountered during spotlight surveys at completely-fenced airports (&#;x = 0.40 individuals/km across 8 surveys; SE = 0.24) than were encountered at airports that were not completely fenced (x&#; = 6.15; SE = 2.32; P = 0.032). Our study suggests that complete enclosure of airfields and regular fence maintenance is vital for effective wildlife-strike management at small airports.

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