Last week ENEDIS (the French grid manager) and the LIFE GYPHELP team have put the first fireflies – an anti-collision bird marker, in a 20,000 volt line with the help of a drone – a first for France.
The demonstration operation has been organised by Hammarprodukter – the Swedish producers of the firefly marker being used - and E-Sense, a drone company, with the collaboration of ENEDIS and the Vanoise National Park.
The line equipped, near the Tignes ski resort, is in the core of the Alps, within bearded vulture territories, and due to its height could not be done with the traditional methods to put bird markers.
The LIFE GYPHELP project, in which the VCF is a partner, focus on reducing the main threats to the populations of bearded vultures in the French alps, namely the collisions against cables, intoxication/poisoning (particularly lead poisoning), and disturbance of the breeding sites by human activities
The Project, which started in the summer of 2014, is led by Asters (Conservatoire d’Espaces Naturels de Haute-Savoie) and has as partners two national parks in the French Alps (Vanoise & Mercantour), the Observatoire des Galliformes de Montagnes, the local hunting association (FDC74) and the VCF, and is funded by the EU LIFE programme.
During the project, many ski lifts and electricity power lines are being fit with anti-collision systems. Last year an adult bearded vulture has been found dead in the region after it collided against a ski lift.
You can see some videos from the operation in the links below, and you can also read some press articles below