We take seriously our responsibility for caring for our wildlife in our day to day activities. This includes caring for animals such as:
The Jabiru is an endangered species in New South Wales, and we take active steps to minimise the risk of these large birds colliding with power lines. Often, Jabirus are killed in such incidents. To help, we have installed special bird diverters to wires spanning breeding areas. These draw the Jabiru’s attention to the powerlines in much the same way that ribbons draw attention to wire fences. The diverters are placed in the wires by ‘live line’ staff wearing specially-insulated clothing and equipment.
We are fortunate to have good populations of koalas in some parts of the Essential Energy area. Occasionally they get into difficulties on power poles. When this occurs, it's time for a bucket truck crew to come to the rescue.
In Ballina on the North Coast, pelicans have long been causing problems by colliding with powerlines – and causing blackouts. The Australian Seabird Rescue (ASR) group discovered the problem was due to pelicans’ migratory patterns. Every year, the juvenile pelicans would migrate up a tributary of the Richmond River and, being young and inexperienced in flight, would collide with the powerlines. Essential Energy's live line workers installed bird diverters on the wires to make them more conspicuous – and collisions and fatalities reduced dramatically as a result.
Mountain Pigmy Possums
The mountain pygmy possum is an endangered species found in alpine areas. Thanks to a project involving Essential Energy and the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, the population in the Snowy Mountains' Mount Blue Cow area has new tunnels to assure safe passage between areas of habitat isolated by cleared corridors. The tunnels are built using culvert pipes sawn in half. The bottom half is laid in a trench and filled with suitable sized rocks (a possum can pass between or over the rocks, depending on how threatened it may feel). The top half is then installed and the trench backfilled. This allows pygmy possums and the larger, native broad-toothed rats (Mastacomys fuscus) to pass, while excluding foxes and cats.
Essential Energy plays an important role in osprey conservation. Along the NSW north coast, 20 of approximately 100 known nesting sites are located on power poles. As natural nesting sites (tall dead trees near waterways) disappear, these cosmopolitan birds adapt to use the next best thing. Some of our poles have been fitted with special cradles to encourage ospreys to build their nests away from the danger of live conductors.