Species-specific effectiveness of bird flight diverters at power lines

Aim of this research project was to develop a convention proposal to define guidelines for a reliable assessment of the effectiveness of bird flight diverters to reduce the risk of bird fatalities at power lines.

Bird flight diverters at power lines – how effectively do they reduce the risk of bird collisions?

Birds regularly collide with overhead power lines (high and extra-high voltage lines), which has been documented in studies in Germany, Europe as well as worldwide.

Use of bird flight diverters is established worldwide to reduce bird fatalities caused by collisions with overhead power lines.

Studies on the effectiveness of these diverters show differences in effectiveness depending on type as well as species or species group.

Reliable data is so far only available for a limited number of bird species. Knowledge about the effectiveness is important to determine a possible project-related increased risk of fatalities of vulnerable species in the planning process of power lines.

In this research project, the species-specific effectiveness of bird flight diverters was analysed and assessed based on current knowledge collected in a review of international literature as well as expert consultations workshops.

A convention proposal on the species-specific effectiveness of bird flight diverters was subsequently developed based on the results. The proposal includes statements on the species-specific reduction of the constellation-specific risk for 164 bird species following the evaluation method of Bernotat and Dierschke (2016) and thus offers the possibility to assess the effectiveness of the fatality risk reduction.

The convention proposal presents the best currently available scientific knowledge on the subject and meets the scientific and legal necessity for avoidance or mitigation measures as required by European habitat or species protection legislation.


Bernotat, D. & Dierschke, V. (2016): Übergeordnete Kriterien zur Bewertung der Mortalität wildlebender Tiere im Rahmen von Projekten und Eingriffen - 3. Fassung - Stand 20.09.2016, – Leipzig (Bundesamt für Naturschutz, 463 S.


Papers and reports

Liesenjohann, M., Blew J., Fronczek, S., Reichenbach, M., Bernotat, D. (2020)

Wirksamkeit von Vogelschutzmarkern. Ein Fachkonventionsvorschlag zur Minderung an Freileitungen.

Naturschutz und Landschaftsplanung 52 (04) 2020. Seite 184-190

Liesenjohann, M., Blew, J., Fronczek, S., Reichenbach, M. & Bernotat, D. (2019)

Artspezifische Wirksamkeiten von Vogelschutzmarkern an Freileitungen. Methodische Grundlagen zur Einstufung der Minderungswirkung durch Vogelschutzmarker – ein Fachkonventionsvorschlag

Bundesamt für Naturschutz (Hrsg.). BfN -Skripten 537: 286 S.

Further information

Please refer to the BfN project website for detailed information about the project (in German).

A summary is available from the website of the BfN as well.