New Mexico Ecological Services Field Office recommendations for project proposals involving Electric Power Lines



Birds of prey such as eagles, hawks, and owls frequently use power lines and support structures for perching and nesting. These raptors can be electrocuted while using power lines, thus contributing to the cumulative mortality factors affecting these biologically important and environmentally sensitive birds. Standard techniques have been developed to prevent raptor electrocutions at electric distribution lines. This latest guidance is included in the publication Suggested Practices for Raptor Protection on Power Lines: The State of the Art in 1996 by the Avian Power Line Interaction Committee. The document may be requested from Edison Electric Institute, P.O. Box 266, Waldorf, Maryland, 20604-0266, telephone (800) 334-5453; or may be requested from the Raptor Research Foundation at 12805 St. Croix Trail, Hastings, Minnesota 55033, phone (612) 437-4359; or by email to JMFITZPTRK@aol.com. New or modified electric distribution lines should be designed and constructed to prevent the electrocution of raptors, using the above-referenced guidance. Proper design should include adequate separation of energized hardware or insulation of wires where sufficient separation cannot be attained. Closely spaced transformer jumper wires, bushing covers, protective cutouts, or surge arresters can be made safe for raptors by the use of special insulating material. The use of grounded steel cross-arm braces should be avoided. These measures should be implemented on each line and pole associated with your new or converted lines as necessary.