Owls as traffic victims

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During March 2015, members of the Milvus Group performed several field works in the western parts of the country, while we recorded also “road kill” bird victims along a busy main road.


Because finding the bodies of small size bird species is difficult, we were focused only on the medium and large size species.

The studied road section is located along the E671 European main road which was divided into two parts, namely a section between Arad and Chișineu-Criș, respectively between Chișineu-Criș and Oradea.


The first survey was undertaken between 11th and 12th March on Chișineu-Criș-Arad road section and the second on 20th and 21st March on Chișineu-Criș and Oradea section.

Along the first section a number of 7, while along the second road section 5 corps (totally 12) of Barn Owl (Tyto alba) were found, killed by traffic causalities.

On transect between Chișineu-Criș and Arad 7 Long-eared Owls were also found (Asio otus) were also found killed by collisions with cars.

Certainly the number of dead birds may be much higher along the surveyed road, as we found only the fresh or relatively fresh carcasses and only next to the roadside, not the corpses which are old and are in poor condition drifted far from the road.

The traffic causalities are mostly limited to two well-defined road sections, one a few kilometres south to Salonta and the other south to Chișineu-Criș, straight roads where there are no settlements and the cars can travel with high speeds.

Although we believe that these number of dead owls are alarming high, unfortunately it is very hard or almost impossible to find an operative solution to overcome this effective losses caused by traffic.

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