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Seasonal Resource Selection by Pronghorn near Wind Energy Facilities in Wyoming, 2010-2012 and 2018-2020

December 1, 2021

Wind energy represents an important alternative to oil and gas extraction to meet increasing energy demands, but it has the potential to disrupt wildlife populations. Because behavioral adjustments, such as altered habitat selection, are a primary way that long-lived species respond to novel disturbances, USGS scientists evaluated effects of wind energy development on pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) space use and habitat selection. Using data from GPS-collared female pronghorn in the Shirley Basin of south-central Wyoming, USA, we tested four potential effects of wind turbines on pronghorn space use during the summer and winter: 1) displacement away from wind turbines, 2) increase in size of home ranges, 3) short-term avoidance behavior within home ranges, and 4) changes in avoidance behavior within home ranges over time. We monitored 166 individuals over 5 summers (2010, 2011, 2018, 2019 and 2020) and 142 individuals over 5 winters (2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2018/19 and 2019/20) and used resource selection functions to evaluate selection relative to turbines after controlling for other habitat factors, such as snow depth. Datasets in this release include .csv files with inputs to evaluate home-range size, home-range selection, and resource selection within home ranges during winter and summer seasons. Data include values of environmental variables and proximity to wind turbines at used and available locations for pronghorn that we used to measure effects of wind turbines on resource selection. This data release also includes a fence map for the study area that we developed based on visual inspection of aerial imagery to evaluate effects of fence density and proximity on resource selection by pronghorn.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2021
Title Seasonal Resource Selection by Pronghorn near Wind Energy Facilities in Wyoming, 2010-2012 and 2018-2020
DOI 10.5066/P9YHHYKD
Authors Aaron N Johnston, Megan C Milligan, Beck L Jeffery, Kaitlyn L Taylor, Matthew J Kauffman
Product Type Data Release
Record Source USGS Digital Object Identifier Catalog
USGS Organization Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center