UNEP/AEWA: UN Wildlife Meeting Pushes to Make Power Lines Safer for Birds

    Two new international reports on the conflict between migratory birds and power lines in the African-Eurasian region are being presented to delegates at a UN wildlife conference taking place 20-25 November 2011 in Bergen, Norway.

    The two documents, The Review of the Conflict Between Migratory Birds and Electricity Power Grids in the African-Eurasian Region and the Guidelines on How to Avoid or Mitigate the Impact of Electricity Power Grids on Migratory Birds in the African-Eurasian Region will be reviewed by representatives from close to 100 governments and several key wildlife conservation organizations attending the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), an international wildlife treaty administered by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

    Power lines constitute one of the major causes of unnatural death for birds both through electrocution and fatal collisions. At end of 2010 there were 70.5 million kilometers of power lines throughout the world, constructed with minimal consideration for their environmental impact. This is expected to increase to 76.2 million kilometers by the end of 2015.

    The review shows that in the African-Eurasian region alone, hundreds of thousands of birds die annually from electrocution and tens of millions of birds from collision with power lines. In general, large birds seem to be more affected. Read on