Information gathering on eagle nests (Geranoaetus melanoleucus) present in high voltage towers in different transmission lines to evaluate their removal
The eagle is the largest hunter raptor that inhabits Chile and is protected by the Hunting Law No. 19,473, since it is a species classified as beneficial for silvoagro-livestock activity and for the maintenance of the balance of natural ecosystems.
It is feared that its population size could be decreasing due to the loss of habitat. Under normal conditions, eagles nest in the crowns of tall trees such as Quillay, or in cavities or ledges of rock walls. In the absence of them, the high voltage towers could be transformed into an attractive place for their nesting, since they present certain ideal conditions for these birds: they are far from human presence and are located in rural areas where more fauna is present, allowing hunting and feeding; its design facilitates the construction of nests and gives them protection against predators, as well as allowing good visibility to detect their prey. However, living in the electrical infrastructure implies a significant risk of electrocution for these birds, which occurs when a bird bridges between two energized components or when it makes contact with an energized component and ground through the structure.
In 2020, concerned about the protection and preservation of the protected fauna, in this case the eagle, Enel with the support of SAG (Livestock and Agricultural Service of Chile), visited the electrical infrastructures with the presence of nests: 110 kV Tap Lo Boza Line, 110 kV Tap Chacabuco Line and 220 Line kV Polpaico - El Salto and evaluated the condition of the seven nests evidenced, to generate a baseline of information that will allow, in 2021, to request an exceptional permit from SAG for the removal of eagle nests, without affecting the life and reproduction of these birds, and in turn, analyze initiatives that mitigate this future impact on biodiversity.
The execution of this project will allow:
- Reduce the risk of mortality due to electrocution of a protected bird in the country, by removing its nests and in the future mitigating this impact by granting safe nesting alternatives.
- Ensure the continuity of the electricity supply, reducing the risks of cuts due to the presence or collision of birds.