The field studies started of the project “Conservation of threatened birds trough retrofitting of hazardous overhead powerlines in Natura 2000 sites in Western Bulgaria”. This is one of the most key activities in the project, from which additional information will be obtained on bird-prone electric poles and overhead power lines in the western part of the country.
The first stage of field studies was launched in 2018, when hazardous overhead powerlines were surveyed in Specially Protected Areas: “Svishtov-Belene Lowland” BG0002083, “Belene Islands” BG0002017, “Nikopol Plateau BG0002074, Zlatia BG0002009 and Kresna” BG0002003.
In this season, the surveys are concentrated in several Natura 2000 sites, which are also part of the project – Mesta BG0002076, BG Slavia, BG0002078, Kresna BG0002003, Rayanovtsi BG0002001 and Ponor BG0002005. Until the end of November, field experts will roam monthly hazardous overhead powerlines that were pre-determined in a special analysis by GIS experts from BSPB and CEZ Distribution Bulgaria. Often in nature, birds are the victims of an electric shock when landing on an unsafe electric pole or a direct collision with wires. Our teams also found the first victims during the study – black kestrel (kerken), big hawk, common buzzard and others.
The study will last for 3 years, with areas of conflict between birds and the grid being protected in stages. The project “Conservation of threatened birds trough retrofitting of hazardous overhead powerlines in Natura 2000 sites in Western Bulgaria” has a budget of 2.65 million. The program is funded by the EU’s Life Program. Its implementation is a natural extension of the long-term policy of CEZ Distribution Bulgaria AD and BSPB for biodiversity conservation – bird life protection and safe stay. The duration of the project is 63 months from 01.10.2017 to 31.12.2022.