This is one of the most expensive and hardest activities within the Project but it will eliminate the most serious threat facing the Imperial eagle - electrocution. Together with EVN Bulgaria, the BSPB has already isolated more than 500 of the most dangerous poles near the nests. This will give the juvenile birds, which, being inexperienced fliers, are most vulnerable to electrocution, a chance to hunt and live in a safe environment.
The most dangerous poles are being mapped by BSPB experts who have detailed knowledge of the eagles' lives. All this is followed by the actual isolation work in collaboration with the EVN Bulgaria distribution company. The work is carried out by EVN repairmen using special equipment. Special plastic insulators are positioned in the place, where the conductors are closest to the tip on which the birds perch, to prevent electrocution caused by the eagle touching the conductors with its enormous wings and shorting to the earthed part of the pylon. This labor intensive work is performed on each dangerous pylon along the power lines, at great cost.
Electricity poles insulation, photo: Svetoslav Spasov
Large raptors frequently fall prey to non-safeguarded pylons. The electrocuted bird dies on the spot or is severely damaged, and the power supply along the line is discontinued, causing discomfort to the customers too. This is why poles safeguarding is important for protection of the birds and is of economic significance for the companies and for the public.
The work to safeguard the pylons is still under way. The BSPB has implemented similar activities within some of its other projects, working with all power-distribution companies in Bulgaria.
See a video of pylon safeguarding here.