Electrocution is a widespread conservation problem for birds of prey that has received little attention in the Neotropics. Here we present electrocution records involving the endangered Chaco Eagle (Buteogallus coronatus) in central Argentina, and we provide information on the power pole structural characteristics associated with electrocutions. Nine Chaco Eagles were recorded electrocuted during the period 2012–2019 over an area of 9000 km2. Chaco Eagles were found electrocuted in association with five types of power poles, but more than half the electrocutions (55%) were on poles made of steel-reinforced concrete and with jumper wires above the crossarms. With the addition of four previous electrocution reports in this region during the same time period, the annual rate of Chaco Eagle electrocutions was similar to the rate of mortality by other human-related factors such as direct persecution. Future conservation actions and research should focus on retrofitting the small fraction of poles that pose the highest electrocution risks for Chaco Eagles, and on assessing the demographic effects of electrocution mortality for this species and other endangered raptors in Argentina.
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Vol. 54 • No. 2