Wind power is a rapidly expanding source of renewable energy and poses risks to wildlife such as raptors that are vulnerable to collisions with wind turbines.
Limited Rigor in Studies of Raptor Mortality and Mitigation at Wind Power Facilities
Evaluating information gained from past studies examining impacts on wildlife is likely to improve the success of future studies and efforts to reduce collisions. Researchers from the USGS, the Peregrine Fund, and Oklahoma State University reviewed publications and reports from 321 wind facilities in 12 countries to evaluate methods used to monitor wind facilities and reduce impacts on wildlife. The authors found that most studies only included data collected post-construction, limiting the ability of researchers and managers to compare wildlife mortalities before and after the installation of wind turbines. In addition, practices designed to reduce impacts on wildlife were only reported at 23% of facilities. These results suggest that rigorous data collection is rare for research on wind energy and raptors around the globe, and that carefully designed studies are needed to better assess risk and reduce collisions.
Conkling, T.J., McClure, C.J., Cuadros, S., Loss, S.R., and Katzner, T.E., 2022, Limited rigor in studies of raptor mortality and mitigation at wind power facilities: Biological Conservation, v. 275, 109707. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2022.109707
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