U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version

Fall 2011


Human–Wildlife Interactions 5(2):269–275, Fall 2011.


Birds pose serious hazards at United States airports because of the potential for collisions with aircraft. Raptors, in particular, are hazardous to aircraft safety due to their size, hunting behavior, and hovering and soaring habits. Reduction of rodent populations at an airport may decrease raptor populations in the area and, therefore, reduce risk that raptors pose to aircraft. Rodent populations can be reduced by population management (i.e., use of rodenticides) or by habitat management (i.e., vegetation and land-use management) that reduces the area’s carrying capacity for rodents. I found that zinc phosphide-treated oats reduced rodent populations by >94% at the Kansas City International Airport in summer 1999. Raptor strikes at the airport declined after rodenticide use. I also found that some habitat types (soybean and corn fields, cattle grazing) and short grass heights supported fewer rodents than medium grass height areas.