Safe Sky for Birds in North-Eastern Bulgaria

The project

The "Safe Sky for Birds in North-Eastern Bulgaria" project is a joint initiative of EDN North - the electricity distribution company in North-Eastern Bulgaria, and The Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds - a partner of BirdLife International in the country. The aim of the project is to prevent unnatural mortality among globally threatened bird species caused by electrocution and collision with overhead power lines by applying best practices in state-of-the-art solutions. The project targets 16 species of birds that are a priority for funding under the LIFE program – 15 of them are included in Annex I of the Birds Directive, 10 species are included in the IUCN Red List and 14 species are protected in Europe.

Project map


The main specific objectives of the project are:

• preventing unnatural bird mortality by isolating 10,000 dangerous electricity poles and marking overhead wires with 5,000 diverters in 28 Natura 2000 project areas and in key corridors between special protected areas;

• creation of a system for future monitoring of bird mortality along all power lines in North-Eastern Bulgaria;

• providing 100 safe nesting sites for two of the target species on hazardous electricity poles by installing birdhouses.

The project area is an important breeding and wintering site as well as a migration route for birds flying between Europe and Africa along the Via Pontica flyway, which after the Via Gibraltar is the most important migration route for European birds. About 500,000 storks and 110,000 birds of prey from Northern, Eastern and Central Europe migrate through the area. That is why the problem of bird mortality caused by the energy infrastructure in the area goes far beyond the national borders of Bulgaria and is of general importance to the EU countries whose birds migrate or winter in the area specified in the project. A bird striking an electrical wire and electrocuting is also a socio-economic problem because it causes grid failure and power outages for populated areas, resulting in economic losses and additional carbon dioxide emissions.

Zones of the project

Balchik, Batova, White Rocks, Bilo, Marak Preslavets Swamp, Chairia, Durankulash Lake, Galata, Garvan Swamp, Khrsovska Reka, Kaliakra, Kamchiyska Mountain, Kalimok Complex, Kamchia Complex, Kotlenska Mountain, Lomovete, Ludogorie, Pozharevo Island, Vardim Island, Ovcharovo, Provadiy-Royak Plateau, Hadji Dimitrovo Fishermen, Mechka Fishermen, Shable Lake Complex, Srebarna, Suha Reka, Svishtovo-Belenska Lowland, Varna-Beloslav Lake.