/ Modified feb 13, 2013 5:49 p.m.

Urban Raptors Learn to Co-Exist

Owls, hawks, others adapt to city life, despite hazards

Modern human settlements have been detrimental to many types of wildlife around the world, but some species in Arizona are adapting to urban environments.

In Tucson, for example, some raptors - hawks, owls and similar birds - are using utility poles as spots to build nests and rear their young. They are also finding a steady supply of prey such as small mammals and doves as food sources.

However, life in the city can create dangers that have not been part of the animals' evolutionary history, says a University of Arizona researcher.

Bill Mannan, a professor and researcher at the UA School of Natural Resources and the Environment, has been studying these large birds and the number of electrocutions that occur when they dwell among electric equipment.

He and his student researchers have found that most of the electrocutions take place within about 300 meters of nest sites.

"And often times, it's the offspring of that particular year because they're kind of clumsy, and when they land on these poles they flop around a little bit" Mannan says.

He and other scientists have been cooperating with Tucson Electric Power Company on its Raptor Protection Program, which works on covering potential hazards for the birds and building platforms for their nests.

By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
Arizona Public Media broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents. Arizona Public Media and AZPM are registered trademarks of the Arizona Board of Regents.
The University of Arizona