Wildlife Protection Programs
As responsible stewards of Arizona’s natural resources, SRP engages in efforts to protect wildlife and conserve wildlife habitats.
In addition to meeting regulatory requirements, SRP understands the importance of protecting Arizona’s native plants and wildlife, especially sensitive and at-risk species.
Avian Protection Programs
SRP strives to protect all birds that may come into contact with our infrastructure. Large-bodied birds with wingspans of 3 to 4 feet are of particular concern because they are at greater danger of injury or electrocution if they come into contact with two energized pieces of equipment.
To protect birds, a variety of protective devices, such as insulating covers, bird flight diverters and perches, and other practices are utilized throughout our facilities and electrical systems.
A critical part of SRP's Avian Protection Program is to build and maintain partnerships with other organizations that work to protect native wildlife. SRP works closely with the Arizona Game & Fish Department, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service , Liberty Wildlife Rehabilitation Foundation and the Electric Power Research Institute to develop and research new avian protection methods.
Additionally, SRP is a member of the Avian Power Line Interaction Committee, which works with utilities, agencies and the public to protect birds without interrupting the delivery of electricity.
Habitat Conservation Programs
To offset the impacts of dam and reservoir operations on threatened, endangered and at-risk species that use the habitats in and around these facilities, SRP developed two habitat conservation plans (HCPs). In these HCPs, we made long-term commitments to implement conservation efforts for the following species:
- Southwestern willow flycatcher
- Western yellow-billed cuckoo
- Bald eagle
- Ridgway’s rail
- Northern Mexican gartersnake
- Narrow-headed gartersnake
- Lowland leopard frog
- 10 native fish species
To provide protected habitats for several of these species, SRP has acquired and manages select properties along ecologically sensitive Arizona waterways. This provides suitable habitats and mitigates further hazards that may jeopardize the continued survival of these at-risk wildlife species.
In all, SRP manages nine properties. Consisting of approximately 3,000 acres of riparian and upland habitats, threatened and endangered species will always be protected by conservation easements.
In addition to managing these properties, SRP created a new breeding habitat for Southwestern willow flycatchers and Western yellow-billed cuckoos. To do so, 20 acres of cottonwood and willow trees were planted near Roosevelt Lake. A five-acre plot of marsh bird habitat was created on the lower Gila River to support the endangered Ridgway’s Rail.
Working together for wildlife conservation
To broaden our impact, SRP works cooperatively with state and federal agencies. Funding is provided to:
- Tonto National Forest for a Forest Protection Officer to patrol and protect habitat at Roosevelt Lake.
- Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD) for bald eagle nest watchers and nest surveys.
- AGFD for operation and upgrades at Bubbling Ponds Fish Hatchery and native fish stocking activities.
- Bureau of Reclamation to construct a fish barrier on Lime Creek, a tributary to Horseshoe Reservoir, to protect a population of Gila topminnow, a native fish species.
To determine whether conservation efforts are having success, SRP biologists must conduct regular species surveys, monitor habitat conditions and report findings to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Southwestern Bald Eagle Management Committee
Another aspect of SRP's commitment to preserving wildlife is our involvement in the Southwestern Bald Eagle Management Committee . 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 habitats.
Composed of state, federal, tribal and private organizations, the Southwestern Bald Eagle Management Committee works together on the long-term conservation of bald eagles in Arizona.
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 the animal.