Avian Protection Program
SRP's avian protection program develops strategies to ensure the coexistence of power facilities and the native wildlife species of the Southwest.
These proactive efforts are a demonstration of SRP's dedication to the community we serve and fulfills our obligation to comply with wildlife protection laws, such as the the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act .
Electric facilities and equipment
While SRP strives to protect all birds that may come into contact with our equipment and lines, an emphasis is placed on protecting birds of prey. Since hawks and owls have wingspans of three to four feet, they encounter more problems with power lines and facilities.
The following devices are used throughout our facilities and electric systems to protect these and other birds:
- Insulated jumper wires with rubber tubing
- Plastic caps on top of transformer bushings
- Lightning arresters that insulate and prevent electrical conduction
- Coated transformer with several layers of non-conductive paint
- Perches on top of power poles to encourage birds to land away from energized lines
- Special devices that discourage birds from perching other precautions are not possible
Currently, SRP maintains three special-purpose permits that authorize various company employees to take specific actions to preserve and rescue birds, nests and eggs.
Southwestern willow flycatcher
One such permit relates to the Southwestern willow flycatcher, which nests near the shoreline at Roosevelt Lake and is on the federal endangered species list. The shoreline at the lake changes dependent on the rainfall and during times of prolonged drought, the level can remain low. It is during these times that the flycatcher tends to move closer to the shoreline.
The special permit, issued by the Fish & Wildlife Service, allows Roosevelt Lake to be filled and still be in compliance with the Endangered Species Act. As part of the permitting process, SRP examined alternatives for protecting the flycatcher habitat, both at Roosevelt Lake and on other Arizona streams.
SRP continues to work collaboratively with U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, environmental groups and Valley cities to find a solutions to the challenge of water storage in the lakes and flycatcher preservation.
Partnerships and research
Part of the avian protection program is building and maintaining partnerships with various organizations that are working to protect the native wildlife. SRP works closely with the Arizona Game & Fish Department , U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Liberty Wildlife Rehabilitation Foundation to develop and research new avian protection methods.
In addition, SRP is a member of the Avian Power Line Interaction Committee , which works with utilities, agencies and the public to protect birds without adversely impacting the delivery of electricity.
Nest watch program
One aspect of SRP's commitment to preserving wildlife is the company's involvement in the Arizona Bald Eagle Nest Watch Program . Since the southwestern bald eagle nests in and around the state's rivers and reservoirs, SRP is involved in ensuring these majestic raptors are protected and left undisturbed in their habitat.
The Nest Watch Program is lead by the Arizona Game & Fish Department and includes participants from 14 different state, federal, tribal and private organizations that form the Southwestern Bald Eagle Management Committee , which SRP is a member of.
California condor population
SRP also provides assistance to the Arizona Game & Fish Department and the Peregrine Fund in their efforts to establish a population of California condors on the Vermillion Cliffs in northern Arizona. These huge feathered gliders, with their nine-foot wingspan, once roamed wild in the Arizona skies until about 70 years ago. There are now more California Condors in the wild in Arizona than there were in the world in 1982.
How you can help
If you find a sick, injured or orphaned animal in or around an SRP power facility, call (602) 236-BIRD (236-2473) or (602) 236-8888.
Elsewhere, Arizona Game and Fish advises alerting a wildlife rehabiltator . Never attempt to handle or move the animal, this is dangerous for both the human and animal.