LIFE for safe grid - Enhance conservation of the globally threatened Imperial Eagle in Bulgaria by reducing mortality caused by power lines

LIFE12 NAT/BG/000572

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Ilina STEFANOVA
Tel: +359 32 402 831
Fax: 35932278501
Email: ilina.stefanova@evn.bg

Project description:


During the implementation of the LIFE SAVE the RAPTORS project (LIFE07 NAT/BG/000068), which targeted the imperial eagle (Aquila heliaca) and Saker falcon, it became clear that the main cause of death of young imperial eagles is electrocution by uninsulated electricity poles. A study undertaken during the course of the project showed that there are more than 5 000 dangerous electricity poles in the distribution area of the imperial eagle in Bulgaria.


The long-term objective of the LIFE for safe grid project is to ensure an increase in the imperial eagle population in Bulgaria by reducing the impact of its main threat. In aiming to reach this overall, long term goal, the project targets the following specific objectives:

  • Increase knowledge of the risk posed by overhead electric power lines to the imperial eagle by identifying areas of high risk and carrying out mitigation measures;
  • Establish a GIS database of eagle nest sites, temporary settlement areas and hazardous power lines, and produce a report on the risks, mortality, priority areas and mitigation measures based on such field work and GIS analysis;
  • Reduce mortality caused by electrocution and collision with electric power lines in the most important Bulgarian Natura 2000 network sites for the eagle by insulating dangerous poles and avoiding electrocution and collisions with overhead power lines;
  • Increase the capacity of key stakeholders (other electricity line operators in Bulgaria and relevant authorities) for solving the conflicts between birds and power lines in the country; and
  • Increase public/stakeholder awareness on conflict between electric power lines and conservation of the imperial eagle and other birds.
  • Expected results: The project expects to achieve the following results:

  • Reduced electrocution risks for at least 16 breeding pairs (about 80% of all known pairs) of imperial eagle; at least 2,740 dangerous poles insulated;
  • Reduced electrocution risks in the main temporary settlement areas for juveniles harbouring more than 15 individuals; at least 700 dangerous poles insulated;
  • Reduced collision and electrocution risk for five breeding pairs and at least 10 juveniles birds per year;
  • The conversion of 45 km of overhead power lines into underground lines; the replacement of a 15 km bare conductor power line with an insulated cable;
  • The holding of two workshops where information will be distributed to representatives of key stakeholder groups (30 people in total);
  • Installation of 12 information boards; and
  • Creation of an electronic audio-visual archive, website, printed and press materials for dissemination purposes. Press briefings will also be held to ensure broadcast news coverage.



Environmental issues addressed:


Species - Birds


nature conservation‚  environmental impact of energy‚  endangered species

Target species

 Aquila heliaca     

Natura 2000 sites

SCI BG0000164 Sinite kamani
SCI BG0000192 Reka Tundzha 1
SCI BG0000212 Sakar
SCI BG0000218 Derventski vazvishenia 1
SCI BG0000219 Derventski vazvishenia 2
SCI BG0001032 Rodopi - Iztochni
SPA BG0002014 Madzharovo
SPA BG0002021 Sakar
SPA BG0002026 Derventski vazvishenia
SPA BG0002058 Sinite kamani - Grebenets
SPA BG0002059 Kamenski Bair
SPA BG0002066 Zapadna Strandzha
SPA BG0002071 Most Arda
SPA BG0002094 Adata - Tundzha



Coordinator EVN Bulgaria Elektrorazpredelenie EAD
Type of organisation Large enterprise
Description EVN Bulgaria AD is 100%-owned by Austrian energy company EVN AG, following the privatisation of Bulgarian energy companies at the beginning of 2005. After initially focusing on the distribution and sale of electricity in south-east Bulgaria, since December 2007 EVN Bulgaria has also been active in the area of heat supply in Plovdiv and Asenovgrad, and in 2009 it began to carry out projects on renewable energy sources.
Partners Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds, Bulgaria


Project reference LIFE12 NAT/BG/000572
Duration 01-SEP-2013 to 31-AUG -2018
Total budget 3,984,874.00 €
EU contribution 1,399,113.00 €
Project location Associated Bulgaria (BG)(Bulgaria Balgarija) Severozapaden(Bulgaria Balgarija) Severen tsentralen(Bulgaria Balgarija) Severoiztochen(Bulgaria Balgarija) Yugoiztochen(Bulgaria Balgarija) Yugozapaden(Bulgaria Balgarija) Yuzhen tsentralen(Bulgaria Balgarija)


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Project web site Project's website


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version