Actions undertaken by the LIFE project

 

Identifying mortality spots due to power lines and proposing corrective measures.

Species n %
Bulweria bulwerii
6
1
Calonectris diomedea
20
3,2
Bubulcus ibis
3
0,5
Egretta garzetta
1
0,2
Ardea cinerea
1
0,2
Buteo buteo
1
0,2
Falco tinnunculus
10
1,6
Alectoris barbara
27
4,3
Coturnix coturnix
1
0,2
Gallinula chloropus
2
0,3
Chlamydotis undulata
82
13,1
Charadriiforme sp.
1
0,2
Burhinus oedicnemus
146
23,2
Cursorius cursor
5
0,8
Pluvialis squatarola
2
0,3
Numenius phaeopus
3
0,5
Larus michahellis
69
11
Pterocles orientalis
23
3,7
Columba livia
157
25
Streptopelia turtur
3
0,5
Streptopelia sp.
4
0,6
Cuculus canorus
1
0,2
Tyto alba
2
0,3
Upupa epops
12
1,9
Calandrella rufescens
2
0,3
Anthus berthelotii
5
0,8
Anthus sp.
1
0,2
Turdus sp.
1
0,2
Sylvia atricapilla
2
0,3
Ficedula hypoleuca
1
0,2
Lanius meridionalis
4
0,6
Corvus corax
21
3,3
Bucanetes githagineus
2
0,3
Sin identificar
7
1,1
TOTAL
628

Table 1. Summary with number and percentage by species of birds that had died by crashing or getting entangled into lines or getting electrified according to the findings of the November and December 2005 survey in Lanzarote and Fuerteventura.

 

Hubara muerta hallada bajo un tendido eléctrico. Foto: Seo/BirdLife

The main survey of the lines has taken place in November and December 2005, altough work on diverse logistic aspects (power lines inventory and distribution map, field work planning.) started in September.

As some of the data obtained in the field work stage are still being analysed, the main preliminary results are given here meanwhile: a total of 482 kms of lines have been covered and 4.078 masts and towers have been inspected.

In such explorations we found 628 remains of birds belonging to a minimum of 33 species, as seven of those remains could not be identified although the possibility that they belong to Houbaras has not been disregarded.

In Table 1 the results are shown in more detail. It must be noted, though, that by order of importance there is a higher mortality rate in Rock dove (157 cases), Stone curlew (146), Houbara Bustard (82) and Caspian Gull (69) than in the other species.

As practically the whole of the power line network in steppic habitats of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura has been surveyed, it is assumed that these results are significant enough to take urgent conservation measures.

Besides, these figures represent minimum values below the real death toll as factors that are sure to increase sensibly the size of the problem are still to be taken into account. For instance the detection of observers, the action of carrion eaters.

Equipo de campo durante la prospección de tendidos. Foto: Seo/BirdLife

The analyisis of obtained results, focusing on the Houbara, shows the existence of very dangerous stretches ("black spots") in seven zones of Lanzarote and another seven of Fuerteventura. In this sense, it is interesting to underline that since the start of the LIFE project the total number of dead birds is 111. This number amount to nearly 14% of the Houbara population!