Date of this Version
VerCauteren, K.C., M. Lavelle, and T.W. Seamans. 2013. Excluding mammals from airports. In: T.L. DeVault, B.F. Blackwell, and J.L. Belant, editors. Wildlife in Airport Environments: Preventing Animal-Aircraft Collisions through Science-Based Management. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland, in association with The Wildlife Society. 49-59.
To ensure aircraft safety, it is critical to exclude large mammal species such as deer (Odocoileus spp.), feral swine (Sus scrofa), and coyotes (Canis latrans) from airport environments, as well as to consider thoroughly and carefully all available management methods. Airports are often located on or adjacent to undeveloped land that provides habitat for various species large enough to pose a direct hazard to aircraft. Unoccupied expanses of forage near runways provide deer with sufficient incentive to leave cover and occupy airport lands. Associated risk and tragic collisions have ranked deer as the most hazardous wildlife group to aviation (Dolbeer et a1. 2000, DeVault et a1. 2011), necessitating the evaluation of appropriate means for excluding them and other medium to large mammals (Dolbeer et aJ. 2000). Exclusionary fences are the most effective, long-lasting, and straightforward tool for eliminating risks posed by deer and other large mammals at airports; however, these fences can be costly to purchase, erect, and maintain. Fences provide a visual sense of security for airport managers but also can accomplish a measurable and statistically significant level of protection to aircraft at airports (DeVault et aJ. 2008). A variety of evaluations and experiments have been conducted on fence options. Determining the most appropriate fence for a specific setting to accomplish a desired outcome can be challenging. When reviewing this body of literature, airport managers must consider the level of motivation among deer or other species in the experiment and relate it to their situation. In this chapter we review a variety of fence applications for excluding medium to large mammals and provide recommendations.