All of our nuclear plants have detailed Wildlife Management Plans to help ensure animals and industry can coexist within the acreage surrounding each site. The wood duck is one of the species monitored at Plant Farley, and part of that monitoring program is inspecting and sharing data collected from their nesting boxes. “We have 10 wood duck nesting boxes on-site and I keep an activity log with photos and report activity in the boxes to the Wildlife Habitat Council,” explained Site Environmental Specialist Seth Harrison.
You may remember from a News Center post last year, that nesting boxes were installed on-site in 2021 as part of an Eagle Scout project, and the installation helped jump start the monitoring program, which had been dormant for seven years. While no activity was noted during the most recent inspection of the nesting boxes in February, Harrison said multiple ducks were seen in the marshy areas near the boxes. “The benefit of the nest boxes is that the hens can nest safely from predators which will help to increase the local, and regional populations of wood ducks in the areas where natural cavities are limited.”
Other ongoing wildlife management activities include managing bluebird nesting boxes, and the gopher tortoise population. Gopher tortoises thrive at all three of our nuclear plants, and the company is actively involved with wildlife agencies, private foundations and environmental groups to help this keystone species flourish.
“Those are the top three wildlife management activities here at Plant Farley,” said Harrison. “We also partner with the Auburn University Southeastern Raptor Center for educational programs and the release of rehabilitated raptors in the 1,805 acres surrounding the site.” Harrison noted that some station employees are working to bring back beekeeping at Plant Farley.