Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


Date of this Version



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


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 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.