A project of Elektrorazpredelenie Yug and BSPB provides for the securing of overhead power lines in the region of Burgas

High bird mortality during the past 30 days has been identified by BSPB experts within the study of dangerous sections of the electricity distribution grid around Burgas. The study is part of the project LIFE Safe Grid for Burgas under LIFE program of the European Union, implemented by Elektrorazpredelenie Yug and the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds.

Since the beginning of the period of intense autumn migration of the birds since mid-August, more than 300 dead individuals of 13 different bird species have been found in the region of Burgas lakes.

White Storks

Short-toed snake eagle

Water rail

The birds were killed mainly by electric shocks when landing on unprotected electrical poles of the medium voltage grid and in single cases from collision with overhead power lines. The most numerous victims were white storks – 237 individuals have been killed in the past month. Other frequent victims include species such as a short-toed snake eagle, a tawny owl, a common kestrel, a barn owl, a long-eared owl and others.

The Ornithological “Highway” Via Pontica crosses the region of Burgas and forms a narrow front of migration into the region. This leads to the accumulation of a large number of birds (storks, pelicans, diurnal birds of prey, etc.) in an area with very dense high risk electrical infrastructure. The birds often use the electrical poles for recreation or fly through the dense networks of overhead wires surrounding the Burgas lakes from all sides, which has caused many accidents. The purpose of regular monitoring carried out by the BSPB is to locate the most bird-dangerous lines which will subsequently be secured by Elektrorazpredelenie Yug EAD within the project, thus preventing mortality in wild birds, the accidents will be reduced and the electricity supply of residents and businesses in the area improved.

The project of Elektrorazpredelenie Yug provides for:

  • 52 km of overhead power lines to be installed underground
  • Installation of protective insulation on 2,000 poles of the electricity grid
  • Installation of 2000 diverters on electric lines
  • Building 18 new transformer stations and 1 new switching station.

The “LIFE Safe Grid for Burgas” project is funded under the European Union LIFE programme and is implemented by the electricity distribution company in Southeast Bulgaria – Elektrorazpredelenie Yug (part of EVN) in partnership with the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB).

You can visit the project website to learn more here: https://lifesafegridforburgas.bg

Photo: Vladimir Mladenov