Data on Bird Mortality in "Sakar" IBA (BG021), Caused by Hazardous Power Lines

Georgi P. Gerdzhikov*, Dimitar A. Demerdzhiev**
* BSPB/BirdLife Bulgaria; 27 A P. U. Todorov Str., 4000 Plovdiv, BULGARIA E-mail: 
** BSPB/BirdLife Bulgaria; 31 Bulgaria Blvd., 4230 Asenovgrad , BULGARIA E-mail:
Abstract. Bird mortality caused by 20 kV power lines was studied in "Sakar" Important Bird Area (IBA). In the period between February 2008 - April 2009, six power lines with a total length of 44,6 km and 450 electric poles of different design were monitored once a month. Forty-four victims belonging to 21 taxa, including representatives of 8 orders, were recorded. Suspected collisions represented 34,09% (n=15) of all dead birds found under the lines. Most of the victims were small songbirds (26%). Suspected victims of electrocution represented 65,91% (n=29) of the recorded carcasses. Electric poles of type 1 (p=0,189) – metal tower with jumper wires, proved to be the most dangerous design, followed by type 2 (p=0,067) - concrete poles with pin-type insulators. The monitored power lines ran across four main habitat types: arable lands, vineyards and orchards, forests (Quercus sp., Pinus sp.), and open grasslands (pastures and uncultivated lands). Most of the suspected collisions were found in arable lands (60%) and open grasslands. Electrocution was suspected mainly for birds in open grass habitats (0,078 victim/pole), vineyards (0,062 victim/pole), and arable lands (0,054 victim/pole). No victims of electrocution were found in the forests
Key words: electrocution, collision, bird mortality, power lines.

Ecologia Balkanica, 2009, vol. 1, pp. 67-77.
Article № EB-01-2009_RA_10, ICID: 
905620, [Full text - PDF]pdf 

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