The aim is to prevent hundreds of cranes, endangered whooping cranes and other birds from being injured or killed by colliding with power lines.
Previous measures have been shown to be around 50% effective, according to Taddicken. These include “fireflies,” the 3 x 5 inch white cards with neon orange and yellow squares in the middle that are attached to power lines around the Rowe Sanctuary.
Two years ago there was a prototype test of the UV light system in Rowe that showed an effective rate of 90% or more, Taddicken said. Therefore, the new system on the two power lines will be examined this migration season to see if this was the case earlier. The result can be confirmed.
Study participants include Rowe Sanctuary and Crane Trust employees and volunteers.
“Participants will go out about an hour before sunset. We have night vision optics. They’ll keep an eye on the (power) lines until around 1am, ”he said.
They will watch out for collisions and how far the cranes were from the power lines when they flare up in preparation for landing. “They’ll be documenting all of the different aspects of powerline behavior,” Taddicken said.
The UV-A light is switched on overnight, but switched off during the day.
“It’s not particularly noticeable to humans. You can see it, but it shows up as a purple light when you look directly at the device, ”Taddicken said. “The cranes will see in the upper UV range, so they see a lot brighter than we do.”