Mongolian distribution power lines and raptor electrocutions

Richard Harness, Sundev Gombobaatar, Reuven Yosef

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

17 Scopus citations


In September 2007 we visited distribution pole lines in the Mongolian steppe to access their risks to raptors. Distribution power lines in the Mongolian grasslands are used extensively by raptors. Nesting on utility poles also is common. Currently there is a trend to substitute older Russian-built wood pole electrical structures with Chinese-built concrete poles with grounded metal crossarms. Accordingly, both older distribution line sections constructed with wood poles and newer lines constructed with concrete poles were sampled. Although wood pole configurations can be quite lethal (one pole had 8 recent carcasses and had previously killed 26 birds), these configurations occurred relatively infrequently. In contrast, every inspected distribution concrete pole was potentially lethal. The concrete poles were built with grounded metal crossarms, resulting in greatly reduced phase-to-ground clearances. We inspected 527 concrete poles and detected 68 bird carcasses at pole bases. Although power lines can provide positive benefits for raptors, the trend to use concrete poles with metal crossarms in the Mongolian steppe outweighs positive benefits. If concrete poles are to be used in raptor habitat, alternative construction methods should be substituted, such as the use of suspended insulators.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2008 IEEE Rural Electric Power Conference - Papers Presented at the 52nd Annual Conference, REPC
StatePublished - 22 Aug 2008
Externally publishedYes
Event2008 IEEE Rural Electric Power Conference - 52nd Annual Conference, REPC - Charleston, SC, United States
Duration: 27 Apr 200830 Apr 2008

Publication series

NamePapers Presented at the Annual Conference - Rural Electric Power Conference
ISSN (Print)0734-7464


Conference2008 IEEE Rural Electric Power Conference - 52nd Annual Conference, REPC
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityCharleston, SC


  • Collision
  • Concrete pole
  • Electrocution
  • Mongolia
  • Power line
  • Raptor
  • Saker falcon
  • Steel crossarm


Dive into the research topics of 'Mongolian distribution power lines and raptor electrocutions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this