Article on the creation of artificial roosts for cormorants to reduce air safety hazards

In May 2020, the magazine Obras Publicas published an article on the creation of artificial roosts to reduce air safety hazards caused by cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo).

The article (which can be consulted in full here) reflects the work carried out by the Barcelona Port Authority with the technical support of Minuartia and the collaboration of the University of Barcelona (Department of Evolutionary Biology, Ecology and Environmental Sciences). The action was innovative in the field of prevention of conflicts with fauna. The installation of artificial structures has encouraged cormorants to roost in places where they do not represent a hazard for air navigation.

The project began in 2006, as part of works to modify the course of the Llobregat river associated with the expansion of the Port of Barcelona. This area contained a roost where more than a thousand specimens concentrated each winter. Initially, five types of potential structures were tested to create new roosts for the species or expand existing natural roosts. The structure that was ultimately preferred for the cormorants was used to create two new roosts and expand the space in a roost that had been used previously.

Minuartia has monitored the three roosts and has confirmed the high effectiveness of the action. The structures, especially the two newly created roosts, are intensively used by cormorants. In this way, the potential hazards of cormorants spontaneously establishing roosts near the runways of Barcelona airport, very close to the area of action, have been avoided.

You can watch the video here.