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EVN AD Bulgaria mounted isolators which are unique for Bulgaria to protect vultures in Sliven

EVN AD Bulgaria mounted isolators which are unique for Bulgaria to protect vultures in Sliven

13.11.2014
Towards the end of October, teams of EVN AD Bulgaria isolated a 20 kV aerial power line in the area of Karakiutuk, near the town of Sliven.
The actions are directly related to the Vultures Return in Bulgaria LIFE08 NAT/BG/278 Project, even though that project had not provided sources for isolating those electric pylons.
 
The devices, required for the isolation of 6 electric pylons were supplied by Green Balkans thanks to the kind support of friends of the Friends of Safaripark Beekse Bergen Foundation, Netherlands. EVN also supported the initiative, purchasing additional number of isolators for the fitting of 8 more pylons. This way all the 14 pylons, which pose threat to vultures, were safeguarded with the isolating devices.
 
The mounted isolators are a new technical solution, used for the first time in Bulgaria. They are MST wing-spacers, designed to prevent the contact between the wings of the birds and the power lines. This way they save the lives of the birds, while preventing technical failures along the network. The new type of isolators has been successfully introduced in several European countries.
 
The isolated power line is located in the Sinite kamani Nature Park and passes in direct proximity to the Griffon Vulture adaptation aviary maintained within the Vultures Return in Bulgaria Project. Since it is a rough terrain, special pylons need to be used. Unfortunately, this particular type proved to be extremely dangerous for our vultures. On one hand, the birds do not perceive them as a threat, while on the other - in poor weather conditions and fog, they easily find them and use them as perches. Considering their wing-span of over 2,70 m, the vultures accidentally touch the wires and fall victims of electrocution.
 
This is an extremely cruel and pointless death for the birds, which have travelled thousands of kilometers to be released in the Balkan Mountains of Bulgaria. Since 2011 this particular power line has killed six vultures. Among them was Matej, the vulture brought from Ostrava Zoo, Czech Republic. In the winter of 2013, EVN Bulgaria mounted another type of isolation devices consisting of spikes to prevent landing on the pylons, but these were not very effective. This is why the new MST wing-diverters have now been mounted.
 
The vulture conservation activities are a part of the long-term cooperation between EVN Bulgaria and Green Balkans aiming at nature preservation.
 
Considering the advantages of the new isolators, EVN Bulgaria is intending to use such devices within the LIFE for Safe Grid Project, funded through the LIFE programme of the European Commission and implemented in the municipalities of Elkhovo, Topolovgrad, Harmanli. It is aiming at decreasing the mortality of Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca), caused by electrocution in significant NATURA 2000 sites.
 
We are hoping that the fitting of the MST wing diverters will cease the threat the power lines pose to vultures in the area of Karakiutiuk.
 
We are very grateful to EVN Bulgaria for their responsible environmental policy and their kind cooperation.  
 
We welcome these efforts and will continue our cooperation with the company in order to limit the damages to both the clients, as well as one of our dearest natural asset - birds!


For more information, please contact:
Elena Kmetova
Project manager of the Vultures Return in Bulgaria
Phone: + 359 885 219 557; ekmetova@greenbalkans.org