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8 May 2017

Powerline removed to mitigate further injury to wildlife

With efforts to help protect an endangered bird species, South Africa’s state-owned power utility Eskom, has removed a portion of an overhead power line.

According to Engineering News, the Grey Crowned Crane was reported to have collided with an overhead Eskom line in KwaZulu-Natal last year – the incident was reported by a property owner to the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT).

Wildlife efforts

Engineering News reported: “The EWT, which has worked in partnership with Eskom since 1996 to mitigate the danger presented by electrical infrastructure to wildlife, explained that field officers went out with Eskom representatives to assess the line and compiled a field investigation report.”

EWT field officer Matthew Becker, said: “After deliberations, recommendations, meetings and assessments between the landowners, Eskom and the EWT, the section of power line was removed by the Eskom team, returning the site partially to its original state."

According to media, this action has been said to be a “major breakthrough” for the endangered birds, as any potential collisions in the future have been eliminated. Read more...

Powerline collisions

"Collisions with power lines and electrocutions on electrical infrastructure were inevitable with in excess of 500,000km of power lines across South Africa," Engineering News reported.

They added: "The Eskom/EWT incident management system, or database, recorded some 2,900 incidents involving Eskom power lines, the bulk of which were mortalities on smaller distribution lines."

According to Becker, over the past 21 years, nearly 5 500 individual mortalities had been added to the database, 95% of which were birds, with vultures and cranes accounting for 25% and 24%, respectively, of the 141 species on record.

“Crane species are heavily impacted as they often fly in low-light conditions when the line is less visible,” he explained. Read more...

 

Featured image: Pixabay

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