When they first put the little bridge over the barranco de Erques when they finally completed the last stretch of the TF1 between Adeje and Santiago del Teide, they also hung little coloured things on the suspension framework. Very few then knew what they were, and some thought them purely decorative, but in fact they were – and still are – salvapájaros luminiscentes (bird protectors), two neoprene strips covered with luminescent paint and fitted with reflective sheets that the birds perceive when flying up a gorge or over open countryside where they might otherwise not see an overhead cable or recognize it as an obstacle.
Now the Tenerife Cabildo and Red Eléctrica de España (national grid) have agreed to monitor their impact on the population of Cory’s shearwater and other nocturnal species in the area of the 66 kV Candelaria-Geneto and Icod de los Vinos-Cuesta de la Villa/Los Realejos overhead power lines. The programme will take two years, not just monitoring bird accidents but also observing bird behaviour, nests and the state of the bird protectors. For Red Eléctrica, the project represents an investment of €40,000 and fulfills its commitment to preserve and conserve biodiversity, especially birds. The Cory’s shearwater is also now included in the list of focal species that are more sensitive to the presence of power lines, in accordance with the criteria established by Red Eléctrica based on the “Birds and Power Lines. Mapping of Flight Corridors” project.