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Energy and Wildlife

Power companies like Alliant Energy own and manage a lot of land around our power plants and equipment. That means we have a responsibility to protect the animals that live nearby.

Some of those animals are endangered, so we take special care to make sure they stay safe.

Peregrine falcons

The peregrine falcon is a predatory bird that lives in the Midwest. A few years ago, these beautiful birds were almost extinct, because their habitat was disappearing.

To help the falcons in Iowa and Wisconsin find new homes, Alliant Energy and other electric companies built nesting boxes on or near their power plants.

Peregrine falcon chick

The nesting boxes give the falcons a safe place to lay their eggs and raise their young. Thanks to the nesting boxes and other protection, the peregrines are no longer endangered!

In Lansing, Iowa, two falcon chicks were born in a nesting box on a cliff along the Mississippi River. The pictures below show wildlife experts checking the nesting boxes and banding the chicks so they can follow their progress:

 

Checking a falcon nesting box

Climbing a cliff

Peregrine falcon in flight

Bald eagles

bald eagle

In the winter months, hundreds of bald eagles can be seen each day near Alliant Energy's power plant in Burlington, Iowa. Hundreds of people visit the plant to do some eagle-watching, helping a local environment group count the number of birds.

The town of Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin, hosts an annual Bald Eagle Days celebration. Visitors to Alliant Energy's hydropower dam watch educational programs, see eagles up close and watch the flocks along the river.

Karner blue butterflies

Wisconsin is home to the largest population of the endangered Karner blue butterfly, and Alliant Energy is helping to preserve their habitat.

This butterfly is in trouble because it is losing its food source. A flower called wild lupine is the only thing the Karner blue caterpillars eat.

The wild lupine flowers have been disappearing for two reasons: construction by humans and crowding out by taller plants and trees.

Karner blue butterfly

To help keep the wild lupine growing, Alliant Energy takes special care with the trees and plants around our power lines. This helps the wild lupine get enough sun and water to grow - and the Karner blue caterpillars get enough to eat.