Mitigating Collisions & Electrocutions
Powerline collisions and electrocutions have claimed the lives of several condors. The fog and winds typical of the Big Sur coast can elevate the threat by obscuring powerlines and limiting the ability of birds to navigate hazards. We consistently collaborate with Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) to improve condor safety. In 2011, PG&E buried a high-risk powerline near the condor release site along the Big Sur coast, thereby eliminating a major threat. Then they retrofitted spans in other sensitive areas with insulated tree wire, reducing the risk of electrocution while increasing the visibility of the lines. We also drafted a risk assessment with PG&E to identify structures of relatively high risk, so the company can prioritize retrofits with a proactive approach.