Resource Documents: Wildlife (250 items)
Documents presented here are not the product of nor are they necessarily endorsed by National Wind Watch. These resource documents are provided to assist anyone wishing to research the issue of industrial wind power and the impacts of its development. The information should be evaluated by each reader to come to their own conclusions about the many areas of debate.
Migratory bats are attracted by red light but not by warm-white light: Implications for the protection of nocturnal migrants
Author: Voight, Christian; et al.
The replacement of conventional lighting with energy‐saving light emitting diodes (LED) is a worldwide trend, yet its consequences for animals and ecosystems are poorly understood. Strictly nocturnal animals such as bats are particularly sensitive to artificial light at night (ALAN). Past studies have shown that bats, in general, respond to ALAN according to the emitted light color and that migratory bats, in particular, exhibit phototaxis in response to green light. As red and white light is frequently used in outdoor lighting, we asked how migratory bats respond to these wavelength spectra. At a major migration corridor, we recorded the presence of migrating bats based on ultrasonic recorders during 10‐min light‐on/light‐off intervals to red or warm‐white LED, interspersed with dark controls. When the red LED was switched on, we observed an increase in flight activity for Pipistrellus pygmaeus and a trend for a higher activity for Pipistrellus nathusii. As the higher flight activity of bats was not associated with increased feeding, we rule out the possibility that bats foraged at the red LED light. Instead, bats may have flown toward the red LED light source. When exposed to warm‐white LED, general flight activity at the light source did not increase, yet we observed an increased foraging activity directly at the light source compared to the dark control. Our findings highlight a response of migratory bats toward LED light that was dependent on light color. The most parsimonious explanation for the response to red LED is phototaxis and for the response to warm‐white LED foraging. Our findings call for caution in the application of red aviation lighting, particularly at wind turbines, as this light color might attract bats, leading eventually to an increased collision risk of migratory bats at wind turbines.
Christian C. Voigt, Katharina Rehnig, Oliver Lindecke, Gunārs Pētersons
Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Berlin, Germany (CCV, KR, OL)
Institute of Biology, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany (CCV, OL)
Faculty of Life Science, University of Vienna, Austria (KR)
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies, Jelgava (GP)
Ecology and Evolution. Published online August 25, 2018. doi: 10.1002/ece3.4400
Author: Petrie, Scott; and Chouinard, Matt
As per your letter of engagement dated March 2, 2018, Delta Waterfowl has provided an assessment of the potential impacts of the Sharp Hills Wind Farm (SHWF) on breeding and migrating/staging (hereafter staging) waterfowl. We have reviewed all of the documents that you provided and have mapped the locations and extent of the proposed industrial wind development (Figure 1), proposed industrial wind turbine (IWT) locations in relation to wetlands in the region (Figure 2), breeding waterfowl densities (Figure 3), land-cover types (Figure 4), and a figure showing the waterfowl exclusion zones, avoidance zones (based on European literature – see below) and potential barrier effects if the proposed IWTs are constructed (Figure 5).
Based on our assessment, we have concerns that the proposed wind farm will adversely impact a number of avian (displacement and direct mortality) and bat (mortality) species. Unlike many species of passerines, birds of prey and bats that are killed by IWTs, waterfowl generally avoid industrial wind developments (Larsen and Madsen 2000; Desholm and Kahlert 2005, Stewart et al. 2005, Larsen and Guillemette 2007, Masden et al. 2009, Fijn et al. 2012, Rees 2012) which is problematic when IWTs are placed in and close to important waterfowl habitats, and/or across migratory or feeding flight corridors. This review pertains to the potential barrier effects and habitat loss (due to avoidance) that would be imposed on ducks, geese and swans if the proposed IWT development was constructed. It is our professional opinion that if the proposed industrial wind development is constructed, it will adversely impact breeding as well as spring and fall staging waterfowl. …
Scott Petrie, Ph.D., CEO, Delta Waterfowl
Matt Chouinard, M.Sc., Senior Waterfowl Programs Manager, Delta Waterfowl
12 April, 2018
Download original document: “Sharp Hills Wind Farm: Assessment by Delta Waterfowl”
Author: Nabe‐Nielsen, Jacob; et al.
Marine ecosystems are increasingly exposed to anthropogenic disturbances that cause animals to change behavior and move away from potential foraging grounds. Here we present a process‐based modeling framework for assessing population consequences of such sub‐lethal behavioral effects. It builds directly on how disturbances influence animal movements, foraging and energetics, and is therefore applicable to a wide range of species. To demonstrate the model we assess the impact of wind farm construction noise on the North Sea harbor porpoise population. Subsequently, we demonstrate how the model can be used to minimize population impacts of disturbances through spatial planning. Population models that build on the fundamental processes that determine animal fitness have a high predictive power in novel environments, making them ideal for marine management.
Jacob Nabe‐Nielsen, Floris M. van Beest, Jonas Teilmann, Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, Roskilde, Denmark
Volker Grimm, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Department of Ecological Modelling, Leipzig, Germany
Richard M Sibly, School of Biological Sciences, University of Reading, Berkshire, United Kingdom
Paul M. Thompson, Lighthouse Field Station, Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Conservation Letters 2018 – published online before print
Download original document: “Predicting the impacts of anthropogenic disturbances on marine populations”
Action on multiple fronts, illegal poisoning and wind farm planning, is required to reverse the decline of the Egyptian vulture in southern Spain
Author: Sanz-Aguilar, Ana; et al.
Large body-sized avian scavengers, including the Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus), are globally threatened due to human-related mortality so guidelines quantifying the efficacy of different management approaches are urgently needed. We used 14 years of territory and individual-based data on a small and geographically isolated Spanish population to estimate survival, recruitment and breeding success. We then forecasted their population viability under current vital rates and under management scenarios that mitigated the main sources of non-natural mortality at breeding grounds (fatalities from wind farms and illegal poisoning). Mean breeding success was 0.68 (SD = 0.17) under current conditions. Annual probabilities of survival were 0.72 (SE = 0.06) for fledglings and 2 yr old non-breeders, 0.73 (SE = 0.04) for non-breeders older than 2 yrs old and 0.93 (SE = 0.04) for breeders. Probabilities of recruitment were 0 for birds aged 1–4, 0.10 (SE = 0.06) for birds aged 5 and 0.19 (SE = 0.09) for older birds. Population viability analyses estimated an annual decline of 3–4% of the breeding population under current conditions. Our results indicate that only by combining different management actions in the breeding area, especially by removing the most important causes of human-related mortality (poisoning and collisions on wind farms), will the population grow and persist in the long term. Reinforcement with captive breeding may also have positive effects but only in combination with the reduction in causes of non-natural mortality. These results, although obtained for a focal species, may be applicable to other endangered populations of long-lived avian scavengers inhabiting southern Europe.
Ana Sanz-Aguilar, José Antonio Sánchez-Zapata, Martina Carrete, José Ramón Benítez, Enrique Ávila, Rafael Arenas, José Antonio Donázar
Dept of Conservation Biology, Estación Biológica de Doñana (CSIC), Sevilla; Population Ecology Group, Instituto Mediterráneo de Estudios Avanzados (CSIC-UIB), Islas Baleares; Área de Ecología, University Miguel Hernández, Alicante; Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Sevilla; Línea de Geodiversidad y Biodiversidad, Agencia de Medioambiente y Agua, Junta de Andalucía, Sevilla; and Gestión del Medio Natural, Dirección Provincial de Córdoba, Consejería de Medio Ambiente, Junta de Andalucía, Córdoba, Spain
Biological Conservation 187 (2015) 10–18. doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2015.03.029