Avian species aren’t the only wildlife our energy clients encounter when planning or constructing projects. Our resident wildlife expert, Tim McGuire, stopped by to tell us more about the other creature-related issues we help our clients mitigate.


Besides birds, what kinds of wildlife tend to cause issues for electric utility companies?

Burrowing mammals, like groundhogs, can significantly undermine equipment/foundations. Transformer outages have been caused by squirrels, raccoons, and even a bobcat! Other components can be infested with snakes and swarming insects. Northern diamondback terrapins have been found nesting on substation grounds in significant numbers.


How can wildlife impact work at a substation?

Protected species can restrict available work periods or areas, aggressive or dangerous species can be safety hazards to personnel, and destructive species can cause the equipment itself to become dangerous to work on without the damage always being immediately apparent.


How can being in close proximity to substations and electric lines be dangerous to wildlife?

Electrocution may be the primary hazard, but heat-related injuries from entrapment/confinement or impact-related injuries from the sudden actuation of switch components could also develop.


What regulatory agencies do you need to coordinate with if you encounter wildlife on your utility project?

State and/or Federal Wildlife Agencies, local animal-controls, and wildlife rehabilitators may (and have) all played a role in resolving wildlife issues.


What services does McCormick Taylor offer to help our clients with these issues?

McCormick Taylor can monitor a hazard site to determine problem species, evaluate and deploy appropriate countermeasures (hazing, trapping/relocating), develop wildlife management plans, and coordinate with relevant agencies and support organizations to provide the optimum outcome for equipment security/functionality and wildlife safety.

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