Examination of Surveys to Measure Renewable Energy Effects on Birds and Bats

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Although renewable energy facilities are often required to complete wildlife surveys before and after constructing facilities, there is a lack of published studies that have closely examined the types of surveys and whether they are comparable within and across facilities.

Researchers reviewed literature to answer questions about survey standardization, frequency of surveys, and types of survey data that are typically collected. Post-construction monitoring for wildlife fatalities and habitat use was standard practice, yet only 22 percent of the 203 facilities provided data from both pre- and post- construction. They also documented that study design components such as control-impact or before-after designs are rarely used. The lack of comparable biological data makes it difficult to evaluate effects on wildlife across construction periods and among facilities. Researchers recommend best practices that may allow wildlife managers and the energy industry to more accurately and cost effectively anticipate effects of renewable energy to wildlife.
 

Conkling, T.J., Loss, S.R., Diffendorfer, J.E., Duerr, A.E., Katzner, T.E., 2020, Limitations, lack of standardization, and recommended best practices in studies of renewable energy effects on birds and bats: Conservation Biology, https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.13457

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Date published: November 13, 2017
Status: Active

Interaction between Energy Development and Raptors

Energy production has become essential for modern society. At the same time, this process can have negative effects on wildlife and ecosystems. It is in the best interest of society and the environment to understand these effects and to manage and mitigate for them. Our team focuses on measuring how energy development influences birds of prey and learning how to minimize negative influences....

Contacts: Todd E Katzner