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10-year (2003-2012) bird and vegetation data collected at wind facilities in North Dakota and South Dakota

September 8, 2022

This data release contains eight datasets that represent the entirety of the data collected for a study that examined breeding-bird densities in native mixed-grass prairie from 2003 to 2012 at and adjacent to wind facilities in North Dakota and South Dakota, USA. Data were collected to determine breeding-bird density per 100 hectares (ha) by distance bands from turbines and by excluding habitat that may not be considered suitable as breeding habitat for particular bird species. A subset of the data that included only one year prior to turbine construction and several years post-construction and that lent itself to a before-after-control-impact (BACI) assessment was published as its own data release and paper in 2016 in Conservation Biology by authors J. Shaffer and D. Buhl. The all-inclusive data release described hereafter is of the same basic format but includes all years and all study sites (also referred to as study plots), even those that did not lend themselves to a BACI assessment. The data release contains eight datasets with discrete topics of information, namely on bird occurrence; years of study organized by study site and treatment (that is, impact-indicating post-turbine construction) or control status and pre- or post-treatment status; overall study plot area; plot area by habitat-exclusion areas and by distance bands from turbines; turbine locations; vegetation structural data; locations of survey grid points; and bird codes and associated English common names and scientific names for the list of bird species observed during the study. The 'bird occurrence' dataset includes bird species identification, sex, mating-pair status, and geographic locations of individual birds, which were obtained to determine locations of individual birds from nearest turbine location and to ultimately determine bird density per 100 ha. The 'pre post years' dataset indicates the years that individual study sites (also known as study plots) within study areas were surveyed, whether the study site was a control or treatment site (thus indicating whether the site was never expected to experience turbine construction or whether the site was expected to experience turbine construction), and whether the study site was considered a pre-treatment or post-treatment year (thus indicating for treatment sites whether the site did not have or did have turbines that particular year). The 'overall plot area' dataset provides the overall areal extent of each study plot within which bird and vegetation data were obtained and to aid in determining bird density per 100 ha. The 'plot area by distance band habitat' dataset represents a refinement of plot area by categorizing area within up to four habitat-exclusion variables and by four distance bands in concurrent rings from turbines (that is, 0-00 meters [m], 100-00 m, 200-300 m, and greater than 300 m from turbines); these data allow one to calculate bird density per 100 ha by distance band and with exclusion of habitat in which the bird species would not be expected to be occupying. The 'turbine location' dataset indicates geographic location of individual turbines, which was obtained in order to determine distance from individual bird locations to nearest turbine location. The 'vegetation' dataset contains measurements that characterize average vegetation structural measurements and life form and was collected to determine if there were differences in vegetation structure between control and treatment sites and pre-treatment and post-treatment years. The 'study survey grid point' contains geographic location of individual grid points by study site, which indicates the exact location of each study site. The 'bird codes and names' dataset indicates the four-letter bird codes and the English common and scientific names that they represent and also provides a list of bird species observed during the study.

Publication Year 2022
Title 10-year (2003-2012) bird and vegetation data collected at wind facilities in North Dakota and South Dakota
DOI 10.5066/P9B75GL0
Authors Jill A Shaffer
Product Type Data Release
Record Source USGS Digital Object Identifier Catalog
USGS Organization Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center