Electric companies provide valuable habitats for plants and wildlife. In addition to complying with the Endangered Species Act, electric companies take special actions to protect threatened and endangered species and critical habitat on our lands. Check out examples of company conservation efforts in 2012.
Electric Companies Working to Protect Land Resources
Promoting Compatibility Between Birds and Power Lines
Avian Protection Plan Guidelines
Power line structures are used by many species for nesting and roosting. Raptors and other endangered and migratory birds are especially attracted to power lines, using power poles and towers as perches from which to establish territorial boundaries, hunt, rest, find shade, feed, and sun themselves.
Avian Power Line Interaction Committee
Electric companies have emerged as leaders in mitigating bird collisions with electric power lines. We've established the Avian Power Line Interaction Committee whose mission is to promote compatibility between birds and power lines. In cooperating with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, we've evaluated our procedures, studied raptor behavior, and implemented raptor-safe power line designs.
Suggested Practices for Raptor Protection
In addition, we've developed a methodology for determining whether raptor problems exist, and we've implemented suggested practices for raptor protection on power lines.
Providing Valuable Habitat for Wildlife Living on Our Company Lands and Rights-of-Way
Through our regular management and maintenance of the vegetation on our transmission and distribution rights-of-way, we provide important habitat for many types of plants and wildlife.
Power line rights-of-way are used as migration corridors for a wide range of species, especially land-based species. They also create "edge" or border habitats necessary for the survival of many birds and small mammals. And many power line structures themselves, particularly in the western and southwestern parts of the nation, are used by raptors as perching and nesting sites. Lands and waters owned by electric companies often serve as wildlife refuges or preserves and, thus, are protected from development from other interests.
Protecting Endangered Animals
The occurrence of unique, threatened, or endangered species on lands maintained by electric companies is impressive. In fact, sixty percent of the habitat of seven out of ten endangered species occurs on non-federal lands and water, including resources used by electric companies for electricity transmission and generation. In addition to complying with the Endangered Species Act, our companies are taking special actions—often at considerable expense—to protect threatened and endangered species and critical habitats on our lands.