The problem of birds coming into contact with powerlines is one faced by electricity distribution companies throughout Australia and overseas.
Aurora Energy was the first electricity company in Australia to implement a bird project to research the incidence of bird strikes involving power assets and to introduce strategies for dealing with the problem. Aurora is assisted by the Threatened Species Section at the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE) on a range of bird strike mitigation activities.
Aurora's bird project has been so successful that bird strike mitigation work has been embedded in general network planning, design and construction, and field maintenance work.
Mitigation strategies include:
- adding special perches to some lines in raptor nesting areas
- insulating closely-spaced pole top configurations as an added safety measure
- adding special devices to powerlines to make them more visible where they cross bird flight paths
- undergrounding lines in environmentally-important areas where lines span the flight paths of protected species
- re-routing powerlines away from identified 'trouble spots'
- redesigning lines to adapt international bird mitigation strategies to Tasmanian conditions.
- A bird reporting system is in place to enable analysis of variables such as bird species, asset type, location, weather variables, cause of death and topography. Information provided by members of the community is crucial to pinpointing problem areas and your assistance is greatly appreciated.
If you would like to report an incident please phone Aurora on 13 2004, the Threatened Species Unit at DPIW on 6233 6556 or use this online form.