Collecting data to identify the most dangerous power lines for Mediterranean raptors is now possible thanks to the e-faunalert App, which aims to help electricity companies address conservation issues involved in their operations.
Casablanca, 20 November 2019 (UICN-Med). The disappearance of raptors is an increasingly alarming problem in the Mediterranean. Collisions and electrocutions on power lines are among the biggest threats affecting populations in the region. To tackle this issue, IUCN’s Center for Mediterranean Cooperation (IUCN-Med) has developed the free mobile application e-faunalert, presented this week in Casablanca (Morocco). As a visually appealing and intuitive software to collect technical data on power lines, efaunalert helps both to identify and map dangerous areas posing an electrocution or collision risk for these species on such infrastructures.
Conceived for all types of users, from scientists, to the conservation community, governments, energy sector stakeholders to general global audiences, the application helps to collect data to quickly identify areas of intervention and thus facilitate decision-making in the planning of future power lines.
"The field of species conservation has a strong need for innovative tech solutions, which is why we have created this app. Given the delicate situation of Mediterranean raptors, we can benefit from technologic solutions to identify the most dangerous power lines for them and help to improve planning of power lines”, explains Violeta Barrios, project coordinator at IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation.
Moreover, the app contains information on the technical characteristics of pylons and different types of electrocution or collision incidents. It also allows to download georeferenced images, create and join workgroups to maximize fieldwork, as well as sharing data with other colleagues.
The App e-faunalert is part of a broader action programme initiated in 2015, which enabled the creation of a guide of practical recommendations for managing the impact of electricity networks on biodiversity. Moreover, the programme has made it possible for specialists from Spain and North Africa to exchange information, organize cross-border expeditions with Moroccan and Spanish ornithologists to monitor and create a census of raptors in Morocco.
Worrying situation in North Africa
Data collected for raptors and vultures in North Africa suggests worrying mortality rates related to electrification development. For this reason, it is essential to create awareness on this threat with the aim of implementing effective conservation actions in this region.
The tool and actions undertaken by IUCN-Med in North Africa are part of this cross-border common objective and they intend to help minimize the threats for raptors in the Mediterranean. The results obtained in North Africa could have a great impact and inspire other bird conservation projects worldwide.
In addition, by promoting a simple and easy-to-use mobile application, open to general audiences, IUCN-Med encourages the participation of individual stakeholders and the civil society to participate in the conservation of raptors, identifying and intervening in the mortality hotspots.
This tool has been developed in collaboration with Fundación Amigos del Águila Imperial Ibérica, el Lince Ibérico y Espacios Naturales Privados and is part of the project Safe Flyways - reducing infrastructure-related bird mortality in the Mediterranean", funded by the MAVA Foundation.
Viewing, editing and downloading data, as well as other practical functions and resources are available on the website of e-faunalert (www.e-faunalert.org). The e-fauna application is available on Android and will soon be on iOS.
For more information, please contact:
Violeta Barrios firstname.lastname@example.org