Home-range, movements and use of powerline poles of Eagle-Owls (Bubo bubo) at an island population in northern Norway
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionOrnis Fennica. 2023, 100 99-111.
A dense island population of Eagle-Owls (Bubo bubo) close to the Arctic circle had suffered considerable mortality due to powerlines (electrocution and collision) throughout many decades. A study using GPS transmitter technology was carried out between 2009 and 2014. We studied home-range sizes, dispersal distances, mortality, and proposed mitigation techniques to prevent accidents. We found as expected that juvenile Eagle-Owls had larger home-ranges and moved farther than adults, but both age-groups moved much less than shown elsewhere in Europe. The probable reason for this was thought to be that this population was isolated by the surrounding sea, which might act as a barrier. The GPS data indicated that the poles of the grid were used as perching posts more than expected from a random distribution. This was explained by the lack of high trees and other elevated landscape features on these low islands. As a mitigation effort, we contributed to designing a perching-device for fitting on the poles that would prevent electrocution of the owls. This is now used by several grid-owners in coastal areas with high electrocution risk and is followed up by the National action plan for Eagle-Owl in Norway.