Burrowing Owl Surveys for Pacific Gas & Electric Company
Client: Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E)
Project Manager: Sandra Menzel
• Albion’s biologists are dedicated to bird conservation and take pride in supporting PG&E’s strong commitment to avian protection and regulatory compliance.
• Our natural resources team conducts methodical presence/absence surveys for nesting burrowing owls and other bird species at PG&E substations and along transmission lines.
• Our annual survey reports include site-specific management and conservation recommendations intended to proactively inform construction, operations, and maintenance projects about sensitive natural resources.
The PG&E Avian Protection Plan seeks to protect migratory, threatened, and endangered birds from harm, while improving safety and reliability of the power grid. For the last 10 years, Albion has supported PG&E’s bird protection initiatives, including surveys for burrowing owls at electrical substations and along transmission lines. PG&E contracted with Albion in 2006 to evaluate the presence/absence of burrowing owls at 543 substations in 31 counties within the burrowing owl’s range. Since the initial survey, PG&E has contracted with Albion annually to survey a subset of substations where burrowing owls were known to occur.
Albion also conducted burrowing owl surveys for the Contra Costa–Las Positas 230 kV Reconductoring Project in Contra Costa County in 2009. Our biologists conducted a pedestrian survey along the 29.3 mile route from Las Positas substation in Livermore to the Contra Costa power plant in Antioch, identifying areas with high densities of California ground squirrel burrows where nesting burrowing owls may occur. We also report any other bird nests we detect during our surveys.
Our work informs PG&E about the location of sensitive natural resources allowing for conservation-minded project planning. More information about PG&E’s bird stewardship is available at https://www.pge.com/en_US/about-pge/environment/what-we-are-doing/promoting-stewardship/protecting-birds.page.