, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 349–351 | Cite as

Raptor Pit Mortality in Mongolia and a Call to Identify and Modify Death Traps Wherever they Occur

  • David H. Ellis
  • Terry B. Roundy
  • Catherine H. Ellis

The list of mortality events due to drownings in steep-walled livestock watering tanks is long and growing. In southern Africa, Anderson et al. (1999) reported 163 separate cases involving 322 raptors of 29 species. Reports are also available for the western United States (Craig and Powers 1976), southwestern U.S. (Lafón 2006), United Kingdom (Male 1950; Ryves et al. 1950; Johnson 1991), Australia (Debus 1997), and elsewhere (Anderson et al. 1999).

Here, we focus on death pits in Mongolia but also introduce death traps of various types from other areas. In May 2008, in south-central Mongolia, we found several concrete pits with a total of 21 trapped raptors and one Common Raven ( Corvus corax) (Fig. 1). These pits were built as underground cisterns, each with, as an entrance, a concrete pipe (1.0 m in diameter) vertically oriented. For two, about 1.5 m of pipe extended above ground. Below ground, the pipes opened into rectangular cisterns each about 2.1 × 3.0 m and 1.8 m tall. An...


Peregrine Falcon Water Storage Tank Wood Stove Concrete Pipe Corvus Corax 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • David H. Ellis
    • 1
  • Terry B. Roundy
    • 2
  • Catherine H. Ellis
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Raptor StudiesOracleUSA
  2. 2.BountifulUSA

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