Spatial Pattern of Summer Bat Mortality from Collisions with Wind Turbines in Mixed-grass Prairie
Spatial analysis that aims to identify site-specific hotspots of collision mortality from birds or bats striking wind turbines can potentially lead to mitigating measures that reduce mortality rates. During May-Jul. 2004 and 2005, we studied bird and bat mortality from collisions with wind turbines ... Ausführliche Beschreibung
|1. Person:||PIORKOWSKI, MARTIN D.|
|Weitere Personen:||O'CONNELL, TIMOTHY J.|
in The American Midland Naturalist Vol. 164, No. 2 (2010), p. 260-269
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Spatial analysis that aims to identify site-specific hotspots of collision mortality from birds or bats striking wind turbines can potentially lead to mitigating measures that reduce mortality rates. During May-Jul. 2004 and 2005, we studied bird and bat mortality from collisions with wind turbines at a 102 megawatt, 68-turbine wind farm in the southern Great Plains, Oklahoma, USA. Standardized searches around turbine bases yielded 122 total carcasses of which 92 (75%) were found within 20 m of the turbine bases. We identified 111 carcasses of seven species of bats and 11 carcasses of 6 species of birds. Brazilian free-tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis) comprised 85% of bat carcasses collected. We corrected turbine collision estimates using searcher efficiency trials and a range of removal (i. e., "scavenging") rates reported in the literature. Estimated bat turbine collisions ranged from 1.19-1.71 fatalities/turbine (1.03-1.37/megawatt). These data provide some of the first evidence for a steady rate of collision mortality of Brazilian free-tailed bats at a North American wind farm, most likely due to the site's proximity (~15 km) to a maternity colony. Spatial analyses indicated no consistent pattern in mortality estimates relative to ground cover or topographic position; but collision mortality was higher at several individual turbines, all of which were located near the heads of eroded ravines.