Managing Raptor Interactions with Transmission Lines in South Africa

A. Jenkins, C.S. van Rooyen, J.H. de Goede, and M.T. Matshikiza (South Africa)


Eagles, transmission lines, outages, nesting, South Africa, management strategy


In 2001 a project was launched to investigate ways to reduce power outages associated with eagle nests on transmission structures in central South Africa. It was found that the frequency of eagle-related line outages is partly linked to the distribution and density of active eagle nests, but many outages occur on towers other than the actual nesting towers and can be attributed to birds roosting away from the nest. Further conclusions are that eagle-related outages are likely to be concentrated in a 5-10 tower radius around an active nest, the frequency of eagle-related outages is correlated with tower design, with certain designs particularly implicated because (i) they are favoured by eagles as nest sites and (ii) they are susceptible to bird streamer induced outages. Finally, a correlation was found between the location of the nest on the tower and the preferred roost site of birds associated with the nest. Birds with nests located below the phase conductors tend to roosts below the phases and vice versa. This indicates that nest relocation could be a potential management tool to reduce eagle-related outages.

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