The second phase of the field surveys of the Life Birds project was completed at the end of November 2019. This is one of the key activities of the project, whose full title is “Conservation of endangered bird species by securing dangerous air ducts in protected areas” from Natura 2000 in Western Bulgaria ”- LIFE16 NAT / BG / 000612. Through it the team of CEZ Distribution Bulgaria AD and the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB) will receive additional information about the risk for the birds of the air power lines in the western part of the country.
During the past season, the studies focused on several Natura 2000 sites that are part of the project – Ponor BG0002005, Rayanovtsi BG0002001, Mesta BG0002076, Slavyanka BG0002078 and Kresna BG0002003. Field experts traveled 160 km each month. They were pre-determined in a special analysis prepared by GIS experts of BSPB and CEZ Distribution Bulgaria AD.
The total number of casualties identified in 2019 is 47 individuals from 18 bird species. During the study, the most casualties were found in the Mesta Protected Area. Among the birds killed were 10 common mousetrap, 9 crows, 3 large hawks, 2 small hawks, 2 eagle snakes and 2 white storks. Of the 47 birds found, 28 were killed by electric shock and 19 by collision with the power line. The data are to be analyzed in detail and safety of the power lines at risk for birds is to be started.
CEZ Distribution Bulgaria AD has started the implementation of the technical measures for safety of risk pillars, identified during the field surveys from 2018. So far, 520 pillars have been secured and 127 marking devices have been installed.
Field surveys will continue for 3 years and the conflict zones between the birds and the electricity network will be secured in stages. The project “Conservation of Endangered Species of Birds by Securing Hazardous Air Pipes in Natura 2000 Protected Areas in Western Bulgaria” is co-funded by the European Union’s Life Program. Its implementation is a natural continuation of the long-term policy of CEZ Distribution Bulgaria AD and BSPB for the conservation of biodiversity – protecting the life of birds and providing an opportunity for safe nesting. The project duration is 63 months from 01/10/2017 to 31/12/2022.