1.To establish a methodological proposal for the determination of optimum measures for protection against collisions with birds for new High Speed Lines (HSL) projects, as well as a series of recommendations for the development of environmental monitoring programmes during development of new lines or mitigation measures for lines under operation.

2. To demonstrate the effectiveness of a new design for protection measures against bird-strike on HSL based on the concept of equally spaced tubular screens (PTE).

3. To augment the knowledge about the interaction between railway infrastructure and birds, contributing to diminish present and future impacts on biodiversity.

4. Locally, in the project area, to reduce the impact of the existing and/or projected HSL to established bird populations in protected areas.


The improvement in the interaction between High Speed rail lines and wildlife is of growing interest among both rail infrastructure managers and operators and managers of biodiversity. The protection of terrestrial or aquatic species is usually tackled from a correct design of infrastructure, although in the case of birds it requires complementary, specific and complex measures depending on the territory and the species to preserve, being necessary to implement adaptable measures to various circumstances. The possible collisions of birds with rail lines in Spain takes a special relevance because there are more than 3,100 kilometers of High-Speed lines in service. Thus, in 2009 a project was created to discuss possible solutions. This project proposed anti-collision barriers based on the concept of equally spaced tubular screens as a possible solution to reduce collisions. The Life Impacto Cero project arises from the need to test and demonstrate the effectiveness of these screens and increase knowledge on the interaction between railway lines and birdlife.

In this project we intend to implement a bird anti-collision screen in a section of the Spanish High-Speed rail network in order to evaluate its efficacy and reduce the environmental impact of such railways. To do so, different aspects will be analyzed (i) birds and collision risks inherent in behavioral patterns, flight and feeding, (ii) collision studies with birds developed in High-Speed lines or (iii) high collision sections, which along with additional evaluation criteria will be used to select a major interest stretch of 10 km where to implement the anti-collision barrier. Next, to determine the specific experimental area where to assemble the screen, field studies to obtain real data on birds and an analysis (by including cameras in trains) of the collisions that take place will be made. Once that the final experimental area (400 m long) is selected, the barrier will be constructed and its effectiveness will be evaluated with new field studies and new analysis of bird collisions with trains.

Throughout the entire project, collaborations and contacts with other entities or administrations will be established to maximize the impact and progress of the project.

The generated knowledge will be released to the general public and to other stakeholders through different activities such the placement of information panels or dissemination of results at conferences.

Specific actions that will be carried out:

PREPARATORY ACTIONS: Study and definition of potential areas of implementation of bird anti-collision barriers.

A1. Information gathering, objectives and state of the art
A2. Analysis and assessment of railway sections to be studied
A3. Previous studies: population, crossover frequency and mortality
A4. On board monitoring systems for recording collisions
A5. Analysis and evaluation of preliminary results
A6. Proposal of specific sections for the implementation of actions
A7. Drafting of theproject

CONCRETE ACTIONS Implementation of bird anti-collision barriers in the selected areas.

C1. Assembly of prototype anti-bird-collision screens

MONITORING OF THE IMPACT OF THE PROJECT: Evaluation of the effectiveness of bird anti-collision barriers.

D1. Monitoring studies: population, crossover frequency and mortality
D2. On board monitoring systems for recording collisions
D3. Analysis and evaluation of monitoring studies results
D4. New design proposals for anti-bird-collision screens
D5. Monitoring the socio-economic impact of the project

PUBLIC AWARENESS AN DISSEMINATION OF THE RESULT ACTIONS: Activities to publicising the project and its results both to the general public and to other stakeholders that could usefully benefit from the project's experience.

E1. Dissemination (Notice board, website)
E2. Layman’s report
E3. Technical publications &communication actions
E4. Dissemination of project results to railway administrations at European Level

OVERALL PROJECT OPERATIONS ACTIONS: Coordination and collaboration activities to make the most of the knowledge generated in other similar projects and in Life Impacto Cero project.

F1. Project Management by ADIF
F2. Scientific assessment
F3. Networking
F4. Audit
F5. After-Life Communication Plan


Project duration: November 2013- October 2017.
Planned project budget: 1,775,226 € (887,613 € financed by the European Commission).