Fences are a common element in the North American landscape. They have plenty of benefits including keeping wildlife from wandering onto highways, keeping predators from attacking livestock and marking property boundaries. But they can pose a hazard for birds if they are not easy to see while flying.
Thankfully, there are some simple things that can be done to make fences safer for birds. And a group of TransCanada employees were more than happy to lend a hand recently to help prevent bird collisions with fences.
“Fences are part of Alberta’s working landscape,” says Kailey Setter, conservation volunteer coordinator with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). “However fences that aren’t designed with wildlife in mind can cause problems.”
More than 30 TransCanada employees volunteered last month creating vinyl clips to increase the visibility of fences on NCC conservation lands in southern Alberta. The volunteers – armed with safety glasses, gloves, scissors and tape measures – created more than 1,800 visibility clips to install on fences in areas that are home to a wide range of bird species, including the endangered sage grouse.
“By putting these clips on each segment of barbed wire fencing, we can increase the visibility of these fences to wildlife,” Setter explained. “Research has found that this can reduce bird collisions with fences by 70 to 80 per cent. It’s an easy project that can have a huge impact on wildlife.”
“Employees were very happy to support NCC in its efforts to help protect wildlife and reduce bird collisions with fences,” says Ashely Wishart, TransCanada’s CSR engagement advisor. “We hope to roll up our sleeves in support of NCC once again this fall and have the chance to apply the fence clips to conservation lands. Our employees truly care about the environment and value the opportunity for hands-on conservation.”
Partnering for success
This is the latest example of TransCanada’s ongoing support for the long-term partnership with NCC that began in 2003 and has evolved over the years to include $2.7 million in contributions towards different activities and sustainability programs.
TransCanada was the first partner to work with NCC in their new Corporate Conservation Volunteers Program. Our employees have volunteered their time removing hazardous stretches of wire threatening wildlife in wetlands, planting shrubs in forested NCC property, and uniting to conserve the Waldron Ranch – a 30,535-acre property in southern Alberta.
TransCanada’s support for NCC aligns with our environment strategy and our corporate values of integrity, responsibility, collaboration and innovation. It’s about doing what’s right and being committed to protecting the environment. Not just because we have to, but because we want to.
Learn more about some of TransCanada’s sustainability partnerships in our 2014 CSR report.