The energy around us

Written by  Thursday, 12 February 2015 00:00

The energy around us

Birds are a very important part of the biodiversity of the country. Human life will be enriched by them singing and circling over the country, but they are also an important part of the food chain. Many perform natural sanitary functions when they devour other dead animals. The diet of many birds consists of agricultural pests (mice, voles) but also insects. Smaller birds become the feed of other species; also birds’ nests and cavities may use other birds, but also other animals for hiding and reproduction.

Life on Earth has very significantly reshaped the original landscape. The pace of change is too fast, much faster than birds are able to genetically adapt to. One of the aspects of transforming the natural landscape is the amount of artificial barriers built. These barriers are, in contrast to the birds, a new factor. These include various elements of infrastructure such as roads and wind turbines, but also electricity distribution networks, i.e. overhead power lines.

We live in a time when a life without electricity is hard to imagine. Electricity has become a part of our daily necessity, such as drinking water. The fact that we turn on a light or appliance whenever needed, we see as automatic as to use a tap for drinking water.
 In 1918, there was electricity in only 2% of the municipalities in Slovakia. In 1946 this figure was over 40% and now the power distribution is provided in each municipality. Electrification meant the construction of a constantly expanding network of overhead electrical power lines that provide electricity transmission to users. At that time no one thought of what a risk they would be to the country, they also pose threats to birds - along with other obstacles in open country, such as road and air traffic, and high-rise buildings. Overhead power lines are an important factor significantly influencing the life of birds.

The occurrence of overhead power lines was, for example, one of the main causes of the disappearance of the Great Bustard from our area. In 1970, numbers of this species decreased and is now regarded by breeders as almost extinct. Building power lines at the flight level of Bustards is causing their deaths as a result of serious collisions.

         
 

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LIFE 13 NAT/SK001272 Energy in the land - power lines and conservation of priority bird species in Natura 2000 sites

           

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