In the middle of March 2021, the field surveys under the LIFE Danube Free Sky project (LIFE19 NAT/SK/001023) started. This is one of the key activities in the project, from which the team of the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB) will receive additional information about the dangerous power lines for birds along the Danube River and in the western part of the country. BSPB and CEZ Distribution Bulgaria AD are the partners in the project for Bulgaria.
This season the surveys are concentrated in several Natura 2000 areas, which are part of the project – Specially Protected Area (SPA) “Obnova”, SPA “Devetashko plateau”, SPA “Tsibarsko blato”, SPA “Orsoya fish-ponds”, SPA “Studenets” and SPA “Karlukovski Karst”. During the months of March and April, our experts collected information on over 1,200 electric poles and walked nearly 180 km. from the electricity distribution network 20kV in the areas. From all the information gathered, the most at-risk areas for birds have been identified, which will be further studied and surveyed monthly by the end of April 2022. Often in the wild, birds are victims of electric shock when landing on an unsafe electric pole or in direct contact with air conductors. Our teams also found the first victims during the study – White stork, Common Buzzard, Eurasian Eagle-owl, Eurasian Magpie and others.
The study will last one year, and the dangerous for birds areas will be secured in stages.
The project “Transnational conservation of birds along Danube river ” (LIFE19 NAT/SK/ 001023) has received funding from the LIFE Programme of the European Union. The project presents a solution to one of the biggest threats for the wild living species of birds nowadays – interaction with the power lines. Strong collaboration is presented of beneficiaries from 7 countries (Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania) and one non-beneficiary country (Germany) including the private commercial sector (8 electric companies and 1 railway company), nature conservation authorities, municipality, and private non-commercial entities.
For more information please visit project website: www.danubefreesky.eu