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GLIN==> [fws-news] Guidelines to Address Bird Strikes and Electrocutions Released










April 18, 2005                      Contact: Nicholas Throckmorton, FWS,
202/208-5636
                                      Rick Loughery, EEI, 202/508-5647

      Guidelines to Address Bird Strikes and Electrocutions Released

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in partnership with the Avian Power Line
Interaction Committee (APLIC) recently released voluntary guidelines
designed to help electrical utilities protect and conserve migratory birds.
Working with the guidelines, a utility can use the latest technology and
science to tailor a voluntary Avian Protection Plan that meets specific
utility needs at its facilities.

“The voluntary guidelines for protecting birds from electrocution and
collisions with power lines will improve safeguards for migratory birds,”
said Acting Service Director Matt Hogan.  “We value our partnership with
APLIC and the electric utility industry, and encourage electric power
companies to take advantage of the new guidelines.”

An Avian Protection Plan is utility-specific and is designed to reduce
avian and operational risks that result from avian interactions with
electric utility facilities.

Electrocutions are a particular threat to birds with large wingspans, such
as eagles, hawks, and owls – all species protected under the Migratory Bird
Treaty Act.  Wire strikes are a problem for many different bird species.
Birds also can cause power outages and fires, resulting in increased costs
and inconvenience for electric utilities and their customers.

“Last week’s signing of the Avian Protection Plan Guidelines is a shining
example of what can be accomplished when industry and the Fish and Wildlife
Service roll up their sleeves and work together on a project," said Florida
Power & Light Principal Biologist and APLIC Chair Jim Lindsay.

The guidance document, which will be available by the week of April 18,
2005 at <http://migratorybirds.fws.gov/>, references the latest industry
standards for preventing avian power line interactions.

"Voluntary industry cooperation has long been essential to our conservation
efforts, and many electric power companies have already taken steps to
protect migratory birds,” Hogan said.  “The new guidelines build on and
strengthen that tradition.”

The Service and APLIC have a long history of working together on avian
power line issues. In 1983, an ad hoc group began addressing whooping crane
collisions with power lines in the Rocky Mountains.  APLIC was officially
formed in 1989 as a partnership involving the Service, the National Audubon
Society, and 10 electric utilities.

Today APLIC members include representatives from the Edison Electric
Institute (representing the Nation's investor-owned electric utilities),
the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (which represents
nearly 1,000 consumer-owned electric utilities), 23 individual electric
utilities, two Federal utility agencies, the Electric Power Research
Institute, the Rural Utilities Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service.

More information can be found at <www.aplic.org>.


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency
responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and
plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American
people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge
System, which encompasses 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small
wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national
fish hatcheries, 63 Fish and Wildlife Management offices and 81 ecological
services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws,
administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations,
restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife
habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their
conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program,
which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on
fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.


                                  - FWS -


      For more information about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,


                 visit our home page at http://www.fws.gov and
http://greatlakes.fws.gov/
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