CEZ Distribution Bulgaria

With the Project:
Conservation of threatened birds trough retrofitting of hazardous overhead powerlines in Natura 2000 sites in Western Bulgaria

The project “Conservation of threatened birds through retrofitting of hazardous overhead powerlines in Natura 2000 sites in Western Bulgaria” is part of CEZ Distribution's long-term policy for biodiversity conservation. CEZ's partner in the project is the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds, the largest national charity with 1,400 subscribing members. The general aim of the project is to minimise the unnatural mortality of threatened birds caused by collision with the electricity distribution network.


The electricity distribution grid is extremely important for development as well as improved living conditions, however, it poses a threat to the lives of birds. Every year, many birds are recorded as victims of electrocution from powerlines or collision with the infrastructure, a major challenge threatening the lives of birds in the area. Sometimes the birds die from their contact with the network, causing power outages. Birds' nests on poles are also endangered and can disrupt the normal power supply.


The long-term aim of the project is to preserve the breeding and migrating populations of threatened bird species. To achieve the desired results, CEZ identifies the power lines inside and in immediate proximity to key Natura 2000 sites in Bulgaria, posing the most serious hazard for wild birds. The company then installs bird-safe electric pylon prototypes in place of hazardous pylons along selected power-line sections. Furthermore, the company educates the communities about their initiative by posting the information about their activities on posters and billboards in nearby settlements.


The project significantly reduced the unnatural mortality of priority bird species caused by electrocution and collision with overhead power lines in the special protection areas where the project is operating. The risk of fire in agricultural crops, natural grasslands, and forests is lowered by reducing the numbers of short-circuits that kill birds. The safeguarding of white stork nests in villages and towns will also lower the risk of fires in these settlements.


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