Identifying Pollinator Habitat Along Power Line Right of Ways in the Georgia Piedmont
July 2020 - September 2022
- Electric Power Research Institute
The Piedmont prairie is a biologically diverse grassland found in Georgia, hosting several obligate plant species and other plant species that allow pollinators, including the monarch butterfly, to complete their life cycle. This diversity is under threat due to habitat fragmentation caused by incompatible land uses, but powerline right-of-ways (ROWs) may provide an opportunity to conserve these grasslands and maintain some degree of habitat connectivity. Little is known about the occurrence and distribution of Piedmont prairies along powerline ROWs. Identifying these sites will assist managers in making decisions about resource allocation between management of existing prairie habitat and creating new habitat. The University of Georgia is conducting this work in collaboration with the Georgia Power Company and the Electric Power Research Institute. The research will contribute to basic understanding about distribution and abundance of Piedmont prairies within the powerline ROW network in Georgia. The research will also help managers decide on targets for pollinator habitat conservation.