Work is going ahead to render suspended electrical power lines safe for bird-life

Preliminary work is in progress, both in the areas covered by the project in Italy and the Canary Islands, on insulating electrical power lines with the aim of mitigating the risk of electrocution for Egyptian Vultures and other bird species.

A moment during the workshop on rendering electrical power-lines safe

In the Canary Islands, Endesa Distribución has already started work on making its electrical lines safe, after carrying out a study together with the Gobierno de Canarias (Regional Government of the Canary Islands) to identify the areas that were particularly at risk for Egyptian Vultures and planning the type of mitigating measures to be implemented.

In Italy, E-Distribuzione is in the final stages of executive planning following the completion of the investigation conducted by the technicians from ISPRA (Environmental Protection and Research Institute) in the southern Italian regions of Apulia, Basilicata, Calabria and Sicily, which identified the electrical power-lines and pylons located in sensitive zones, such as feeding areas or around nesting areas, and hence those that need to be insulated. The same measures will be implemented in the areas where the LIFE Egyptian Vulture project activities take place, including the sites where captive born Egyptian Vultures are released into the wild and the supplementary feeding sites.

In the meantime, E-Distribuzione organised a workshop with the aim of informing and involving the bodies and individuals who will be responsible for planning and implementing these measures at a local level. The workshop, which was held at the E-Distribuzione offices in Catanzaro (Calabria) on the 11th December, 2018, is intended for E-Distribuzione managers and representatives of companies that work on electrical power lines.

The participants at the workshop on rendering electrical power-lines safe

Following an introduction to the LIFE Egyptian vulture project by Elio Aliperti and Chiara Santaniello, the technician, Luca Cangenua, gave a presentation illustrating the type of supporting structures that constitute the greatest risk for bird-life, together with the methods that may be implemented to reduce such risks significantly. Following a question and answer session, the event concluded with a practical demonstration illustrating the implementation of anti-electrocution measures on a typical supporting structure.

During the workshop, the participants were also presented with a handbook, realised by E-Distribuzione technicians in collaboration with the naturalists from Biodiversità SAS (a Biodiversity consultancy studio), which provides a detailed description of the anti-electrocution measures to be implemented, and which was produced in order provide E-Distribuzione personnel and the various companies involved with the principal technical information necessary to mitigate the dangers of electrical lines for bird-life.

The techniques that will be used in the ambit of the LIFE Egyptian vulture project have already been implemented by E-Distribuzione in various parts of Italy with excellent results; the most widely used method, which is effective, can be implemented reasonable quickly and is relatively inexpensive, involves applying an insulating sheath on the exposed conductors close to their anchoring points, which is then covered with self-amalgamating tape and PVC insulating tape; the other live parts are insulated using the two types of tape without the insulating sheath.

Handbook on techniques for rendering electrical power lines safe for bird-life produced by E-Distribuzione

Click here to download the PDF version of the handbook.

Life Egyptian Vulture