Israel considers technical means to save birds from electrocution

Studies show birds collide with high voltage wires in Israel at rate of no less than 200 incidents per kilometer every year; drone efficacy being tested to install devices able to warn birds of danger
Noa Fisher|
Israel's Electric corporation, the Society for the Protection of Nature and the Environmental Protection Ministry have launched a study to find the most effective means to prevent bird electrocution in Israel.
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  • On average, hundreds of millions of migrating birds, fly over Israel and some remain for the purpose of rest as they travel to either warmer or cooler climate, or for nesting.
    3 View gallery
    שקנאים עפים ליד קווי מתח.
    שקנאים עפים ליד קווי מתח.
    Pelicans fly near power lines
    (Photo: Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel)
    But in recent years, birds have been in increased danger as obstacles in the form of high voltage power lines, were installed forcing them to navigate tens of thousands of kilometers of lines in different heights, often colliding with them, causing injury or death.
    Studies have shown that in Israel, such cases occur twice as often as in global statistics. According to the survey published on Monday, no less than 200 incidents per kilometer occur every year, on average.
    In response to the alarming data, a study of over 24 kilometers (14.9 miles) of power lines is being conducted in a northern Israel valley, to examine the most effective means to reduce this phenomenon.
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    שקנאים שהתחשמלו בעמק החולה
    שקנאים שהתחשמלו בעמק החולה
    Pelicans electrocuted after colliding with high voltage power lines
    (Photo: Israel Nature and Parks Authority)
    Special devices were installed on power lines, increasing their visibility for the birds, and enabling an extended response time, to reduce the potential of collisions, with an emphasis on nighttime or fog, when the risk is higher.
    In the past, such devices were placed using helicopters, or long rods, depending on the height of the voltage line. Such old methods required a lot of resources, time, and manpower, and were therefore used in a limited capacity. The research now makes use of designated drones, as a more efficient method.
    "The current study will allow us to determine the most effective solution for cases of bird collision with power lines," Oren Helman, Senior Vice President, and regulation at the Israel Electric Corporation said.
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    פלמינגו שהתנגש בקו מתח גבוה
    פלמינגו שהתנגש בקו מתח גבוה
    Flamingo that collided with power lines
    (Photo: Nadav Israel)
    "We hope to achieve the goal of having a green power grid, that will also be designed to reduce bird collision and electrocution, and we hope this study will bring us one step closer towards this goal and protect the birds."
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