Reducing the risk of bird collisions with high-voltage power lines in Belgium




Elia, Natuurpunt, Natagora


Combining the most recent knowledge on bird distribution, Belgian NGOs Natagora and Natuurpunt, together with national TSO, Elia, created a map to quantify the risk of bird collision with power lines for the whole of Belgium, enabling estimations of collision risk anywhere in the country.


  • Allows to prioritise which power lines should be equipped with mitigation measures e.g. diverters
  • Enables bird collision risk to be considered during the planning of new power lines
  • Collaboration between nature NGOs, TSO (Elia), thousands of citizen volunteers and expert ornithologists

About the practice:

This mapping exercise is the first time that a global collision risk map is used at national scale and has become vital for planning and mitigation measures by Belgian TSO, Elia. Extensive research allowed them to identify collision-sensitive bird species; create species-specific sensitivity maps and risk maps; and to combine these in a ‘risk scoring system’. A pilot case in Oudenaarde (East Flanders) showed that avian fatalities decreased from 70 to 2 in a short period. Furthermore, the map has benefits for Elia in terms of cost-effectiveness of mitigation action and a more reliable network thanks to lower outage risk through collision.

The collaboration has been going on since 2004 and updated reports are regularly produced, which play an important role in Elia's planning and mitigiation actions.

RGI gratefully acknowledges the EU LIFE funding support:

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Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the LIFE Programme. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.