Better protection against electrocution

From this summer, Lesser Kestrels and other large birds are much less likely to fall victim to electrocution in the Sakar Mountains in Bulgaria. More than 200 power line poles have been rendered safe by applying insulating bird protection caps.

Improved protection against electrocution for Lesser Kestrels in the Sakar Mountains. © Dietmar Nill

For retrofitting the overhead power lines, Green Balkans and EuroNatur gained expert advice by internationally renowned ornithologist Winfried Böhmer from Vetschau, Brandenburg (Germany). Last year, he visited Sakar to share his experience in the field of bird protection and power lines. In spring, four Green Balkans staff members and EuroNatur project manager Stefan Ferger went to the Spreewald region (Brandenburg) to visit best practice examples.

The technical mitigation of hazards posed by overhead lines is part of the EU funded LIFE+ project “Lesser Kestrel Recovery – Greater Chance for Lesser Kestrel in Bulgaria” and is implemented in close cooperation with regional power grid operator EVN. EuroNatur is working with Green Balkans and the Spanish nature conservation organisation DEMA to reintroduce the falcons – that were extinct in Bulgaria – to Sakar and to improve their habitat conditions. Alongside intensive agriculture and insecticide use, unsecured medium-voltage power poles are a major threat to the elegant falcons.

Read more about the project to make power poles safe for birds in Sakar

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