THE first campaign of its type has seen the Guardia Civil’s nature division Seprona find 120 birds including rare species that have been electrocuted.
They were the victims – just a small fraction of the thousands killed annually – of high tension electrical cables that fail to meet regulations.
After carrying out more than 350 inspections, the Guardia Civil filed a total of 107 complaints for irregularities related to the protection of birds against high-voltage power lines. In addition, criminal proceedings are under way for five offences against wildlife.
Among the protected species found, Seprona identified 33 specimens of Eagle Owl, 19 Eagles, 17 Gryffon Vultures and six Iberian Imperial Eagles.
One of the worst instances inspectors found was the discovery of 44 electrocuted birds on a farm in an Albacete special protection area. The Public Prosecutor’s Office for the Environment and Town Planning has already initiated criminal proceedings in this case.
According to official data, thousands of bird deaths are recorded every year in Spain due to collision or electrocution on electrical lines. This is the main cause of death for some species that have the highest degree of protection according to the Spanish Catalogue of Threatened Species.
Seprona says that the campaign of inspections has already had a considerable deterrent effect, with many lines being upgraded with bird safety features over the past few months.