Mitigating Snowy Owl Aircraft Collisions by Relocation

To aid in active management of Snowy Owls and other raptors at airports, it is essential to understand the spatial distribution and movement behaviour of birds both on and off the airfield. The impact of airfields on birds may be particularly pronounced because airfields provide open, undeveloped land similar to early successional habitats that are perceived as high quality by many species. Airport collisions are a significant threat to Snowy Owls and humans, and preventative measures cost over $500 million dollars each in North America alone. By using tracking technology and GIS software, our project will quantify movement data and environmental factors influencing relocations of Snowy Owls from airport facilities. This research will improve our understanding of Snowy Owl relocation behaviour and provide critical data to improve relocation efforts and to minimize collisions between airplanes and Snowy Owls.

Rebecca McCabe
Faculty Supervisor: 
Kyle Elliott
Partner University: