Monday, January 08, 2007

Dangerous highway in Idaho affects Barn Owls

This short video discusses the hundreds of Barn Owl carcasses found along Interstate 84 in southern Idaho. Boise State University biology professor Jim Belthoff gathered the carcasses during a short study to determine how many owls were being killed by vehicular collisions at night.

Belthoff collected 800 -- enough to fill three freezers -- and surmised that thousands of owls are dying along the interstate. He cited a European study that showed Barn Owl populations becoming extinct along highways.

What, if anything, can be done?

3 Comments:

Blogger Susan Gets Native said...

Maybe pass a law that says anyone who hits an owl with their car gets their license revoked?
Okay, that's a bit harsh.
But hey! Ohio has maybe 50 nesting pairs...and 800 have been killed along one road in Idaho??? Grrr...

January 08, 2007 7:24 PM  
Blogger Birdfreak said...

Do Barn Owls eat roadkill? Bald Eagles sometimes get hit when they feed too near the highways. Slower speed limits? Not likely to pass. Restoring habitat further away from major highways would help. More awareness is always a good thing.
I had no idea so many Barn Owls were killed on highways. Do other states have similar problems?

January 14, 2007 8:22 PM  
Blogger Leigh said...

We actually have that problem right here in Orange County too. Along University/Jeffery Rd. in Irvine I see Barn Owls dead along the side of the road way too often. It's because of the way that they, and many other owls feed, flying slow and low to the ground, taking advantage of the lack of vegetation on the roadways to snatch mice and other rodents as they run across the road. I think signs with owls on them similar to deer crossing signs might help people to become aware of them. Something needs to be done definitely.

January 15, 2007 11:58 AM  

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