Normandeau Associates Inc. has unveiled its Remote Condor Observation Network (ReCON), which is designed to minimize impacts on California condors at renewable energy facilities, such as wind farms.
As the California condor population grows, the birds are re-establishing themselves in Arizona and Southern California, including in areas of existing and proposed wind energy development.
In response, Normandeau developed the ReCON system, which identifies VHF-tagged endangered California condors approaching a renewable energy facility and then immediately alerts personnel, who can take measures to minimize the potential for adverse impacts on the condor, the company explains.
"The ReCON system can detect a VHF-tagged condor from up to 30 miles away," says Christine Sutter, a technical director with Normandeau and one of the principal developers of the ReCON system. "Typically, visual detection - even by an experienced condor observer - is limited to two to three miles."
When a condor is detected, the system alerts the facility, which can then respond by sending out human observers to further assess the situation or can implement an automated response to initiate turbine shutdown.
In addition to the new ReCON product, Normandeau offers a remote bat acoustic monitoring system, which is often used at wind energy facilities.