LIFE Project Cover Photo

Energy in the land - power lines and conservation of priority bird species in Natura 2000 sites

Reference: LIFE13 NAT/SK/001272 | Acronym: LIFE ENERGY

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

BACKGROUND

The problem of collisions with electricity power lines has been identified as a significantly negative threat to endangered bird species, including the corn crake (Crex crex), eurasian bittern (Botaurus stellaris) and ferruginous duck (Aythya nyroca) in Slovakia. Also other rare species were identified among victims, such as the lesser white-fronted goose (Anser erythropus), eastern imperial eagle (Aquila heliaca) and Saker falcon (Falco cherrug). Systematic survey and prevention of such collisions has not been part of any conservation effort in the country to date. It is therefore extremely important to take action, especially in the breeding and feeding habitats of the EU Birds Directive Annex I species, as well as in their wintering and roosting areas and along their migration routes.


OBJECTIVES

The LIFE ENERGY project targeted 10 bird species listed in Annex I of the EU Birds Directive, all of which breed in the 13 Natura 2000 network sites in the project areas. These areas include migration routes, feeding habitats and roosting places. Prevention of collisions of birds with electricity power wires is the most important part of the project, through the installation of bird flight diverters, restoration of windbreaks and other measures, though other bird population supporting activities will also be performed, such as increasing food resources. The projects main objectives are: to reinforce conservation measures focused on the 10 priority bird species and their habitats; to formulate a conceptual solution to the problem of bird collisions with power lines and to prepare a strategic document; to strengthen cooperation with electric companies through the implementation of project activities; and to increase the number of European ground squirrel or suslik (Spermophilus citellus) in two areas. This species, listed in Annex II of the Habitats Directive, is a fundamental prey to some of the targeted bird species.


RESULTS

LIFE ENERGY fully reached or even exceeded its objectives in preventing bird-flight collisions with electricity power lines in the southern part of Slovakia, with a focus on ten protected bird species listed in the Birds Directive. This was achieved by installing bird-flight diverters on 77 km of the riskiest sections of distribution power lines, planting trees for future bird-flight breaks, and nesting and prey-base supportive measures. The projects methodology can be applied globally.

The projects methodology for the identification of dangerous power lines was included in a wider practical Guidance, developed in close cooperation with electricity transmission and distribution companies. The Guidance is implemented in state conservancy bodies and the approach is also widely requested by other countries. The methodology for identifying risky power lines and monitoring the measures applied has convinced electricity companies to continue installation of bird-flight diverters beyond the original project areas. It provides an effective systemic approach to the problem of bird collisions, and is being introduced into various international and national policy documents and reports for a longer-term impact. An additional success of the project was its extensive publicity campaign, including an attractive and interactive exhibition.

Bird-flight diverters and other measures increased bird survival, nesting and the prey base in a cost-effective manner. After the installation of 8 601 diverters on the 77 km of the most risky power lines, at least 200 individuals of the target bird species were protected from collisions every year. The 550 trees planted were expected to achieve their protective function within 5-10 years. The project team installed 55 durable aluminium nest boxes and 40 nests, to improve nesting opportunities in four Natura 2000 sites (SPAs), favouring 254 breeding attempts of 5 bird species (including 25 attempts by Falco cherrug). A total of 2 607 birds of 94 species were treated in the involved rescue centres (i.e. about 500 birds per year; 13 clearly identified as injured by collisions with electricity wires and 63 by electrocution, but the real numbers affected are likely to be higher), and half were returned to nature. Of these, 22 target birds of 4 species were treatLIFE ENERGY fully reached or even exceeded its objectives in preventing bird-flight collisions with electricity power lines in the southern part of Slovakia, with a focus on ten protected bird species listed in the Birds Directive. This was achieved by installing bird-flight diverters on 77 km of the riskiest sections of distribution power lines, planting trees for future bird-flight breaks, and nesting and prey-base supportive measures. The projects methodology can be applied globally.

The projects methodology for the identification of dangerous power lines was included in a wider practical Guidance, developed in close cooperation with electricity transmission and distribution companies. The Guidance is implemented in state conservancy bodies and the approach is also widely requested by other countries. The methodology for identifying risky power lines and monitoring the measures applied has convinced electricity companies to continue installation of bird-flight diverters beyond the original project areas. It provides an effective systemic approach to the problem of bird collisions, and is being introduced into various international and national policy documents and reports for a longer-term impact. An additional success of the project was its extensive publicity campaign, including an attractive and interactive exhibition.

Bird-flight diverters and other measures increased bird survival, nesting and the prey base in a cost-effective manner. After the installation of 8 601 diverters on the 77 km of the most risky power lines, at least 200 individuals of the target bird species were protected from collisions every year. The 550 trees planted were expected to achieve their protective function within 5-10 years. The project team installed 55 durable aluminium nest boxes and 40 nests, to improve nesting opportunities in four Natura 2000 sites (SPAs), favouring 254 breeding attempts of 5 bird species (including 25 attempts by Falco cherrug). A total of 2 607 birds of 94 species were treated in the involved rescue centres (i.e. about 500 birds per year; 13 clearly identified as injured by collisions with electricity wires and 63 by electrocution, but the real numbers affected are likely to be higher), and half were returned to nature. Of these, 22 target birds of 4 species were treat

ADMINISTRATIVE DATA


Reference: LIFE13 NAT/SK/001272
Acronym: LIFE ENERGY
Start Date: 01/09/2014
End Date: 31/12/2019
Total Budget: 1,884,205 €
EU Contribution: 1,412,258 €
Project Location:
Project Website: http://www.dravce.sk

CONTACT DETAILS


Coordinating Beneficiary: Raptor Protection of Slovakia
Legal Status: PNC
Address: Trhova 54, 84101, Bratislava, Slovakia Slovensko
Contact Person: Lucia DEUTSCHOVA
Email: deutschova@dravce.sk
Tel: +421903219524
Fax:


LIFE Project Map

ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES ADDRESSED

THEMES

  • Birds

KEYWORDS

  • nature conservation
  • environmental impact of energy
  • preventive measure
  • endangered species

TARGET EU LEGISLATION

  • Directive 92/43 - Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora- Habitats Directive (21.05.1992)
  • Directive 79/409 - Conservation of wild birds (02.04.1979)
  • COM(2013) 249 final ?Communication from the Commission on Green Infrastructure (GI) - Enhancing Europe?s Natural Capital? (06.05.2013)
  • COM(2011) 244 final ?Our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020? (03.05.2011)
  • Bonn Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals - CMS (01/11/1983)
  • Bern Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (01.06.1982)

TARGET HABITAT TYPES

  • 0 - Non applicable (i.e.species project)

SPECIES

  • Anser erythropus
  • Aquila heliaca
  • Aquila pomarina
  • Aythya nyroca
  • Botaurus stellaris
  • Coracias garrulus
  • Crex crex
  • Falco cherrug
  • Falco vespertinus
  • Phalacrocorax pygmeus
  • Spermophilus citellus

NATURA 2000 SITES

Type Code Name
SPA SKCHVU005 Dolné Pova?ie
SPA SKCHVU007 Dunajské luhy
SPA SKCHVU009 Ko?ická kotlina
SPA SKCHVU010 Krá?ová
SPA SKCHVU012 Lehnice
SPA SKCHVU015 Medzibodro?ie
SPA SKCHVU016 Záhorské Pomoravie
SPA SKCHVU019 Ostrovné lúky
SPA SKCHVU020 Parí?ske mo?iare
SPA SKCHVU021 Poiplie
SPA SKCHVU024 Senianske rybníky
SPA SKCHVU027 Slovenský kras
SPA SKCHVU037 Ondavská rovina

BENEFICIARIES

Name Type
Raptor Protection of Slovakia Coordinator
ZSDIS(Západoslovenská distribucná, a.s.), Slovakia Participant
SNC SR(The State Nature Conservancy of the Slovak Republic), Slovakia Participant
VSD(Východoslovenská distribucná, a.s.), Slovakia Participant

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