|

Bird diverting technology to save millions of MNT

By M.ZOLJARGAL

Activists of the Wildlife Science and Conservation Center of Mongolia’s (WSCCM) displayed over 100 dead Saker falcons at a press conference that had been electrocuted to illustrate the need for bird diverting technology at power lines.

The WSCCM has been coordinating a project to protect birds of prey since 2010. The center said that the main reason for the high death rate of birds of prey was electrocution at power lines, rather than natural causes. In January this year, Bayankhongor Province residents told the UB Post that power lines were the main cause of death of endangered birds.

The project set up bird diverting devices at power lines in Sukhbaatar Province with cooperation from the eastern regional power network branch.

The WSCCM studied the number of birds dying from electrocution after landing on or coming in contact with the 54 kilometer long 15 KW power line stretching from Uulbayan to Munkhkhaan soums in Sukhbaatar Province.

Ornithologist of the WSCCM, B.Nyambayar, spoke to Unuudur about the study’s results and their project to protect birds of prey.

What is the purpose of this unconventional press conference? What message do you hope to convey?

Our research found the bodies of some 300 Saker falcons along the 54 km power line last year. Other species of birds of prey were also found dead below the power line. We brought the dead birds today to leave a solid impact on the public and raise awareness of the current alarming conditions, rather than just giving vague information about electrocuted birds.

Mongolia is home to 44 species of birds of prey and we saw the deaths of 20 species of birds. The reason we’re concentrating on the Saker falcon is because it was named  the National Bird of Mongolia [in 2009]. A few years ago, unfortunate news about the smuggling of Saker falcon to Saudi Arabia was popular in local media. When sold legally, each Saker falcon is sold for over 20 million MNT to other countries. Now, hundreds of them are dying, which is a big waste.

In 2013, we counted 201 electrocuted birds of prey, while the number rose to 214 in 2014. More than 50 were Saker falcons.

We heard that your team set up nests to protect Saker falcons? Can you tell us more about this?

Yes, we have set up 5,000 falcon nests in the central and eastern provinces, throughout 20 soums where the nesting of Saker falcons is rare.

In 2011, 200 pairs of Saker falcons nested in them, while the number spiked to 574 pairs by 2013. On average, three to four chicks are born in each nest and they leave their nests once they are mature. Over 2,000 falcon chicks matured in the nests we set up. But years of effort will become worthless if Saker falcons die out like this in the future.

Does the WSCCM give guidance or instructions to energy companies setting up power lines?

Although these companies set up bird diverting technologies, they are not very effective. They install spikes on power lines, but birds find a way to sit on the spaces between the spikes and get electrocuted. We have set up spinning mirrors, rubber casing, and other diverting items on power lines. Moving devices are easily broken, so spikes need to be set up effectively.

One Saker falcon was valued at 16 million MNT through a government decree in 2011. The Ministry of Energy promised it will not permit the construction of 15 KW power lines in the future, and what remains for us is to make the already set up 15 KW power lines safe for birds. Bird diverting methods should be used for 65 more power lines nationwide, which will require two billion MNT. But in turn, the investment will help save hundreds of Saker falcons, which are worth far more.

What are you going to do with the bodies of the Saker falcons?

We are researchers, so we will check if the bodies have diseases, and if none are found, we will preserve them until people request to use them for display at museums or for other workshops.

 

Short URL: http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/?p=13860

Posted by on Mar 25 2015. Filed under Domestic. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply


5 + 4 =

Recently Commented

  • Oyun: www.theblueeconomy.org
  • Honheree: It is a sad and awful sight to see so many animals dead from dzuds. These have happened in the past and since 2004 there have...
  • Harvey Dent: Mongolia does not get 476,000 tourists a year. Its gets 476,000 arrivals, most of these are Chinese construction workers....
  • Honheree: It is good but unusual that a Mongolian is so forthright. I am D. Ganbold will be criticised by Mongolians for telling the...
  • Honheree: Be thankful Mongolia is so cheap. In USA lamb in stores costs 69,281 MNT /kg and sirloin which is cheaper cut of beef is...