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Resource Documents: Wildlife (251 items)


Also see NWW "wildlife" FAQ

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.

Date added:  April 8, 2018
Spain, WildlifePrint storyE-mail story

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

Download original document: “Action on multiple fronts, illegal poisoning and wind farm planning, is required to reverse the decline of the Egyptian vulture in southern Spain

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Date added:  April 7, 2018
WildlifePrint storyE-mail story

Raptor Interactions with Wind Energy: Case Studies from Around the World

Author:  Watson, Richard; et al.

ABSTRACT.—The global potential for wind power generation is vast, and the number of installations is increasing rapidly. We review case studies from around the world of the effects on raptors of wind-energy development. Collision mortality, displacement, and habitat loss have the potential to cause population-level effects, especially for species that are rare or endangered. The impact on raptors has much to do with their behavior, so careful siting of wind-energy developments to avoid areas suited to raptor breeding, foraging, or migration would reduce these effects. At established wind farms that already conflict with raptors, reduction of fatalities may be feasible by curtailment of turbines as raptors approach, and offset through mitigation of other human causes of mortality such as electrocution and poisoning, provided the relative effects can be quantified. Measurement of raptor mortality at wind farms is the subject of intense effort and study, especially where mitigation is required by law, with novel statistical approaches recently made available to improve the notoriously difficult-to-estimate mortality rates of rare and hard-to-detect species. Global standards for wind farm placement, monitoring, and effects mitigation would be a valuable contribution to raptor conservation worldwide.

The Peregrine Fund, Boise, Idaho, USA
Raptor Research Center, Department of Biological Science, Boise State University, Idaho, USA
Delegación del CSIC en Andalucía—Casa de la Ciencia, Sevilla, Spain
Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, Trondheim
Ecosystem Science and Management, University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, British Columbia, Canada
The Peregrine Fund, Boise, Idaho, USA
BirdLife South Africa, Parklands, South Africa; and
Applied Behavioural Ecological & Ecosystem Research Unit, UNISA, Florida,
South Africa

DNV GL—Energy, 4377 County Line Road, Chalfont, PA 18914 USA
US Geological Survey Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, Corvallis, Oregon, USA
US Geological Survey Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, Boise, Idaho, USA

The Journal of Raptor Research, March 2018, Vol. 52, No. 1

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Date added:  April 6, 2018
Texas, WildlifePrint storyE-mail story

Impacts of Wind Turbines on Redheads in the Laguna Madre

Author:  Lange, Corey; et al.

Freshwater ponds adjacent to the Laguna Madre along the lower Texas coast provide an important and heavily used source of fresh water for the redhead (Aythya americana) throughout winter. A 267-turbine wind farm was constructed within the core wintering area of the redhead on a private ranch along the western coast of the Laguna Madre, in 2010. Our objective was to investigate the effects of this wind farm on the habitat and potential displacement of redheads and their use of coastal ponds along the lower Texas coast. We conducted weekly aerial surveys to monitor coastal pond use by wintering redheads from mid-October through mid-March during pre-construction (2000–2003) and post-construction (2012–2014) of the wind farm. Pond availability and Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) within the wind farm were significantly correlated during pre-construction (n=16, =0.53, P=0.035) and post-construction (n=11, =0.64, P=0.003). However, the number of ponds available at each PDSI level within the wind farm decreased during post-construction (paired t=3.2, n=5, P=0.033). The average number of redheads detected per survey on coastal ponds within the wind farm decreased by 77% from pre-construction to post-construction. Redhead abundance on ponds across the entire Laguna Madre increased by an average of 3.26 times between pre-construction and post-construction, partly due to increases in the continental redhead population. It appears that the wind farm has altered the use of coastal ponds by redheads during winter. Future wind farm placement along the lower Texas coast should consider coastal pond distribution and the dynamics of redhead use between coastal ponds and foraging areas in the Laguna Madre.

Corey J. Lange, Bart M. Ballard, Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Texas A&M University, Kingsville
Daniel P. Collins, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Region 2, Albuquerque, New Mexico

The Journal of Wildlife Management, Volume 82, Issue 3, April 2018, Pages 531-537
DOI: 10.1002/jwmg.21415

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Date added:  April 5, 2018
Health, WildlifePrint storyE-mail story

Living in habitats affected by wind turbines may result in an increase in corticosterone levels in ground dwelling animals

Author:  Łopucki, Rafał; et al.

Environmental changes and disturbance factors caused by wind turbines may act as potential stressors for natural populations of both flying and ground dwelling animal species. The physiological stress response results in release of glucocorticoid hormones. We studied two rodent species of the agricultural landscape (the common vole Microtus arvalis and the striped field mouse Apodemus agrarius) and tested the hypothesis that living in habitats affected by wind turbines results in an increase in corticosterone levels. Rodents were trapped at sites near wind turbines and in control areas. Faeces samples were collected from traps where the targeted animals were caught. For the analysis of corticosterone concentrations in the faeces, we used ELISA tests with antibodies for this hormone. The common vole showed a distinct physiological response − the individuals living near the wind turbines had a higher level of corticosterone. The striped field mouse did not show a similar response. We pointed out the main factors increasing corticosterone levels in voles and features of the studied species that may determine the differences in their reaction including: the width of the ecological niche, spatial mobility, and predation pressure. This is the first study suggesting impact of wind farms on physiological stress reactions in wild rodent populations. Such knowledge may be helpful in making environmental decisions when planning the development of wind energy and may contribute to optimization of conservation actions for wildlife.

Rafał Łopucki, Center for Interdisciplinary Research, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Poland
Daniel Klich, Department of Genetics and Animal Breeding, Warsaw University of Life Sciences–SGGW, Poland
Agnieszka Ścibiorc, Dorota Gołębiowska, Laboratory of Oxidative Stress, Center for Interdisciplinary Research, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin
Kajetan Perzanowski, Institute of Landscape Architecture,John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin

Ecological Indicators 84 (2018) 165–171. doi: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2017.08.052

Living in habitats affected by wind turbines may result in an increase in corticosterone levels in ground dwelling animals

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