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Tree Trimming

Tree Trimming

As humans have been encroaching into the Diani forest, so have their technologies. Connection to the electrical grid is an important aspect in suburban development yet the power lines and associated power transformers are often lethal to monkeys.

In Diani, power cables are not insulated.  The lines often pass through the forest canopy as well, many of the lines are the only canopy-level connection between trees.  When animals walk on the cables and any body parts that touch two cables at the same time, for example one hand on one line and the tail tip on another, results in an electrocuted individual.

If a monkey touches the cables of the main grid (transmitting 22,000 volts), they die instantly. If the electrocution occurs on the feeder lines (240 volts), they may lose a limb – hand, tail, leg if they survive at all.  Electrocutions are very difficult to treat medically.

To mitigate against this problem as we lobby for a more permanent solution, the Colobus Conservation team goes out weekly to trim trees along power lines. We cut about 3 meters on each side of the power lines. This forces the monkeys to come down to the ground to move between trees rather than use the power cables.

Annually, approximately sixteen kilometers of vegetation is cleared along cable lines.

See [Electrocutions] [Insulation of Power Lines].