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Biologist to speak on effect of wind turbines on black bears

BENNINGTON – Jaclyn Comeau, a wildlife biologist with the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, will talk about the research she has been conducting on the effect of wind turbines on the black bear population at 2 p.m. Oct. 20 at the Bennington Museum.

The talk is a program of the Bennington Historical Society, and is free and open to the public.

For many years, Comeau has been studying the effects of wind turbines on the black bear population in Searsburg and Readsboro. The habitat of the black bear has been invaded by industrial wind development and it has been her job to document the effects, if any, that windmills have had.

The department has captured and fitted the large bears with GPS collars and uses telemetry and remote cameras to study their movements as they roam their native habitat and the beech tree groves that they prefer, foraging for nuts. Comeau, who has conducted black bear den visits in the past, will outline the data she’s been able to collect and assess the impact on the bears’ activities. This study will provide needed information as wind resources are planned in the future.

Comeau has degrees from both the University of New Hampshire and the University of Maine.