A new seminar organized by the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve Authority (DDBRA) on December 12, 2017, had the theme "Danube Powerlines" and is part of the project DANUBEparksCONNECTED - Bridging the Danube Protected Areas towards a Danube Habitat Corridor, financed by the Danube Transnational Program.
The project aims to create a corridor of Danube protected areas, to counteract the fragmentation of Danube landscapes and habitats, and to strengthen the Danube River as a key ecological corridor, a priority of EU policies.
Danube Delta is a vital breeding, resting and wintering spot for birds and Danube is a flyway of European importance. Electricity powerlines are barriers within this corridor. DDBRA with the support of the Romanian energy sector will develop a concept for action against collision and will raise awareness in the region.
Understanding the nature of bird collisions is essential to minimizing them. Collision of birds with power lines is caused by a complex mixture of biological, technical and environmental factors. Technical engineering aspects include the size of power lines, their location and orientation, their configuration, type of structure on which they are mounted, etc. Many studies on electrical lines with high collision rates indicate that risk of collision can be reduced by 50% to 80% when these lines are marked. Since 1994, line marking devices have been developed in North America, Europe, and South Africa.
Raising awareness both within the DANUBEPARKS Network and in other sectors is an important first step: there is willingness expressed by power line operators to implement technical solutions. A cross-sectoral process will promote the integrative approach with support at political level, under the patronage of EUSDR (European Union Strategy for the Danube Region).
Work Package 4 - DANUBE FREE SKY – Free Danube Migration Routes collaborates with the energy sector and develops a best practice approach. The expected results are the inventory of the Danube electricity lines, the development of a Strategy within an integrated approach and achievement of a common agreement on measures to reduce collisions and electrocution and to protect bird species.
The seminar was attended by representatives of local institutions, namely Tulcea County Council, Tulcea Prefecture, Tulcea County Mayoralties, Environmental Protection Agency, Danube Delta National Institute for Research and Development, Institute of Eco-Museum Research, as well as interested stakeholders (E-Distribution Dobrogea, Transelectrica, North Muntenia Electricity Distribution Company, ITI Danube Delta Inter-community Development Association, NGOs, mass-media and the general public).
The welcome speech by Mr. Ion Munteanu, Executive Director of DDBRA, the messages of Mr. George Luchici, Vice President of Tulcea County Council, and Mr. Marian Tudor, General Director of INCDDD Tulcea, the presentations of DANUBEparksCONNECTED project and WP4 Work Package Activities DANUBEFREE SKY – Free Danube Migration Routes, as well as "Birds and power lines in Romania - monitoring and research", by Sebastian Bugariu and Ciprian Fântână, Experts of Romanian Ornithological Society, and "Risks of collision of bird species with electric lines in DDBR and the Romanian Danube River section - possible solutions for reducing and eliminating risks", by Alexandru Doroşencu, Expert of INCDDD, managed to provide the public with an overview of project activities, the history of DANUBEPARKS Network, and the severity of electric shock and collisions with electric lines phenomenon among bird populations. Emphasis was placed on possible solutions to mitigate its effects.
The seminar revealed the need to develop a common database involving both electricity distribution companies and non-governmental organizations and research institutes that would gather all the information on which to make decisions and prioritize the areas where it is necessary to intervene to reduce the phenomenon of dropping populations of birds by electrocution and collision with high and medium voltage lines.
The existence of these data as well as the awareness of decision-makers at the level of the European Union and Danube countries could lead to attracting funds that would allow the application of solutions to reduce the collision phenomenon and preserve and protect bird species.

Additional links can be found on project webpages:


14 dec 2017