PowerLines4Birds is a 4-year project co-financed by the European Union's LIFE Program that aims to promote the reduction of the impact of overhead power lines in 23 cross-border SPAs (Special Protection Areas) (14 Portugal + 9 Spain), reducing the risk of collision and electrocution for 7 highly vulnerable and priority bird species for the EU.
Numerous studies clearly show that overhead power lines pose a risk of collision and electrocution to birds. Portugal and Spain share this reality, including in Natura 2000 SPAs, where power lines pose a major threat to several endangered bird species.
This project will substantially increase safe breeding and feeding areas, reducing the risk of bird mortality due to power lines, thus contributing to providing better survival conditions and improving the populations of these species on the Iberian Peninsula.
The project will also contribute to increasing the distribution area and breeding success of target species by installing nest boxes on anti-electrocution supports in the power grid. It will also promote governance by bringing together relevant stakeholders to discuss and improve regulations and best practices, replicable to other companies and countries.
This project aims to be a step forward in mitigating the impact of the electricity grid on birds for both countries (Portugal and Spain), updating the knowledge of stakeholders to improve the sustainability of networks and the management of the Natura 2000 network.
The success of these actions depends on the collaboration of the five partners in the consortium led by the League for the Protection of Nature (LPN), which also includes, in addition to E-REDES, the Portuguese Society for the Study of Birds (SPEA), the National Association for Nature Conservation (QUERCUS) and the Spanish Ornithological Society (SEO). The project also has the collaboration of the Institute for Nature Conservation and Forests (ICNF).
The PowerLines4Birds project has seven specific goals:
- Ensure safe breeding and feeding areas with less dangerous interactions with power lines;
- Promote a significant reduction in bird mortality due to interaction with power lines in Natura 2000 SPAs and adjacent areas, through wider implementation of existing good practices;
- Test new methodologies to improve the efficiency of bird mortality mitigation measures, which can then be applied to new high-voltage power lines at national level;
- Increase the ability to identify and predict mortality hotspots on power lines;
- Promote training within electricity companies and government agencies and increase incident reporting by professionals;
- Improve the governance and sustainability of the network to enhance nature conservation and biodiversity protection;
- Promote networking with other projects, thus combining conservation efforts with other projects that are working on this and other conservation threats to the targeted bird species.
E-REDES has participated in several LIFE Program projects, which have enabled it to leverage its bird protection activities, both in terms of correcting overhead HV/MV lines and in the application of innovative devices.
Within the scope of the PL4B project, the main responsibilities assigned to E-REDES include:
- Selection of priority overhead power lines for conservation work;
- Implementation of conservation actions using highly effective technical solutions;
- Application and demonstration of innovative technical solutions with the aim of simultaneously reducing bird collisions and electrocutions;
- Assessment of the environmental and social benefits resulting from the protection measures to be demonstrated;
- Involvement of experts in the field to collect and analyze information relevant to species conservation.
Led by: League for the Protection of Nature (LPN)
Funded by: LIFE-2021-SAP-NAT Nature & Biodiversity
Grant agreement ID: 101074478
Start: January 2023
End: April 2027
Budget: € 5 390 670,46