I am Bradley Gibbons, a field worker of the African Crane Conservation Programme of the EWT, based in the Karoo region (a large region in South Africa between Johannesburg and Cape Town).
I monitor the Blue Crane population in this area and with it being autumn now, the breeding season is finished and the cranes have started forming small flocks varying from 10 to 30 (these should increase later in the winter). Some family groups are still in their territories and should move to join the flocks soon.
A team of workers from the electricity suppliers, Eskom Transmission, met us to start fitting bird diverters and flappers to the transmission power lines in the Karoo. This was done on the power lines where a study has been taking place for the last 3 years. The aim of the study is to determine which currently approved marking device and method will be the best to reduce the number of bird collisions with these lines. The study area is made up of 4 sections of transmission power lines in the Karoo’s De Aar and Hanover districts of the Northern Cape Province.
This study will ensure that the best device and methodology will be selected for the future marking of power lines.