ROOM: Room 230 – Pecos
Avian electrocution is a worldwide conservation concern causing population level impacts in certain raptor populations; however, electrocution can be effectively addressed through raptor-friendly designs and by retrofitting hazardous poles. This workshop is designed to introduce wildlife managers, policy-makers, and conservationists to key principles of avian electrocution risk and protection. A field risk assessment program is a critical component of every avian electrocution program, because it is not practical to mitigate every pole. In this workshop, participants will become familiar with grounded and energized elements of the electric distribution system, and learn common wire configurations and pole-mounted equipment. They will begin to recognize factors that affect the relative hazard posed by specific poles; learn to distinguish between hazardous, hawk-friendly, and eagle-friendly poles; and identify habitat factors that increase or reduce electrocution risk. Electrocution risk management on new and existing poles using the key strategies of redirection, insulation, and separation will be discussed. A Special Agent from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement will describe the legal framework for avian protection, past enforcement actions for avian electrocution, and success stories in avian risk reduction. A biologist leading the development and implementation of an Avian Protection Plan on a large distribution system will describe challenges faced in reducing avian electrocution risk. To maximize participants’ exposure to real-world examples and challenges, this workshop will take place primarily in the field. Participants should bring binoculars to help them examine electrical system elements in detail and aid in raptor identification.
Organizers: Richard Harness, EDM International, Inc., Fort Collins, CO; Duncan Eccleston, EDM International, Inc., Fort Collins, CO; Delivan Roper, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement, Las Cruces, NM; Patricia Cutler, U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range, White Sands, NM
Supported by: EDM International, Inc., United States Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement, U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range