Ameren Missouri, with oversight from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
(USFWS) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
, installed 1,000 swan diverters on about 1.5 miles of high-voltage transmission
power lines crossing the Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary
near Alton, Ill.
The devices were placed on the highest wires of the transmission towers. Called static wires, they do not carry electric current, but instead are designed to absorb lightning strikes.
Each winter, about 500 swans from breeding grounds in the upper Midwest winter at the sanctuary. With the diverters in place, the swans should see the structures better and fly over or under them, protecting the birds and electric reliability.