TasNetworks cares about the environment and our iconic Tasmanian wildlife. That’s why we’re working hard to minimise risks that our overhead poles and wires pose to birds of prey, such as Wedge-tailed Eagles, Grey Goshawks and White-bellied Sea Eagles
Each year a number of birds of prey are injured or electrocuted when they fly into power lines or perch on power poles near live electrical equipment. However, because our lines are often in remote hard to reach places, we don’t know the true extent of the problem.
How do I report a bird injury or death?
If you find a bird of prey which has been injured or killed near our power lines, please report it to us on 132 004 or complete our Wildlife Incident form as soon as possible.
The more we understand about where and how incidents occur, the better equipped we are to make decisions about how we protect birds into the future.
How is TasNetworks responding?
We're taking a proactive, strategic approach to reducing the impact of the electricity network by implementing our Threatened Bird Strategy. The aim of the strategy is a material reduction in TasNetworks’ impact on threatened Tasmanian birds.
We have made great progress implementing our Threatened Bird Strategy. Over 60km of bird mitigation was installed in 2018-19 and another 180km of lines will be mitigated over the next 3 years. Areas of focus so far have been Gladstone, Epping Forrest and Oatlands-Lemont.
In addition, we’ve been supporting research (such as the use of eagle trackers) and rehabilitation (Raptor Refuge) and talking to our regional customers about what we are doing and how they can help. We are encouraging people to participate in the citizen science initiative Where? Where? Wedgie! which is helping to monitor how bird populations in Tasmania are changing over time.
What is bird mitigation?
Bird mitigation is any measure which makes our poles and wires safer for birds. This includes installing bird flappers, perches and conductor covers.
TasNetworks applies a risk-based approach, using our Eagle Strike-Risk Model to prioritise the installation of bird mitigation. This approach ensures that we maximise the overall reduction in risk to birds of prey, particularly threatened birds, state-wide per dollar spent.
Our Eagle Strike Risk Model has been developed by analysing historic incident data and seeking expert opinion.
What are bird perches and bird flappers?
Birds of prey can receive electric shocks while perching on the top of our distribution poles. To stop this, we install perches that keep birds away from the live parts of the pole top by giving them a higher place to perch.
Another mitigation device known as a bird flappers are installed to power lines to make them more visible to birds so they're more likely to avoid flying into them.
Flappers are rectangular plastic discs that attach to power lines and swivel in the wind. They contain glow-in-the-dark crystals, which absorb and emit purple ultraviolet light and make them visible to birds during both day and night, but appear as white to us.These devices aren’t pretty but by making our power lines more visible, they are helping to keep birds safe.
Who can I help make a difference?
To help these birds we need to find out how many Wedge-tailed Eagles there are in Tasmania.
The NatureTrackers citizen science project called Where? Where? Wedgie! invites all Tasmanians to help us monitor Tasmania’s diurnal birds of prey with a focus on wedge-tailed eagles..