Action: Reduce electrocutions by using plastic, not aluminium, leg rings to mark birds
A replicated and controlled study in the USA found no evidence for lower electrocution rates for raptors marked with plastic leg rings, compared to metal ones.
Leg rings, used to identify birds, could increase electrocution rates if made of metal. Therefore, plastic bands are sometimes recommended.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A replicated, controlled study in Tucson, Arizona, USA (Dwyer & Mannan 2009), found that electrocution rates for 38 Harris’s hawks Parabuteo unicinctus marked with plastic leg bands were no lower than for 41 birds marked with aluminium bands. In addition, there were no signs of burning/electrocution close to the rings on dead birds’ legs.