Development and demonstration of an anti-bird strike tubular screen for High Speed Rail lines.

LIFE 12 BIO/ES/000660.
LIFE+ Programme, European Commission. 2013-2019

New high-capacity and/or high-speed transport infrastructure poses new challenges for the assessment and mitigation of their environmental impact. High-speed rail lines are a good example, promoted as part of an overall strategy for more energy-efficient and lower CO2-emission transport modes. However, this type of rail transport has several undesirable effects including bird strike mortality, a known issue which has not been studied or quantified to date.

This project aims to improve knowledge about high-speed rail bird strike mortality, and test the effectiveness of a new corrective measure model that can be implemented in all situations, including viaducts.

The specific objectives of the project are to:

  • Draft a methodological proposal to evaluate bird protection measures against strike hazards along high-speed rail lines, and make recommendations for the design of (i) monitoring programmes and (ii) corrective measures on such lines in operation.
  • Test the effectiveness of a new bird protection screen design based on the concept of exterior poles.
  • Improve knowledge about the interaction between rail infrastructure and birds, and thus contribute to a reduction in the current and future strike rate.
  • Locally, in the area where the experimental prototype is installed, reduce the project’s impact on bird populations in protected areas.