Animal Interactions at Wind Energy Facilities – Bobcat
In this video, a bobcat approached a desert tortoise (a marked female in the study population) that was sleeping on the apron of her burrow. Bobcats are known predators of various life stages of the desert tortoise. In this case, the bobcat bent down to sniff the tortoise, and then touched its paw to the top of the tortoise's shell. The tortoise then moved into an "all-defensive" position, where it tucks head and limbs into the shell. The bobcat apparently loses interest and walks away after this. Another interaction of a different bobcat and the same tortoise followed shortly after, but again no predation was observed. Lucky tortoise! Bobcats were the predator that was most often observed at burrows on our trail cameras.
Infrastructure associated with wind energy facilities can influence the behavior of animal predators and their prey, according to a recent study by University of California – Davis and the USGS.
Motion-sensor cameras were placed facing the entrances of 46 active desert tortoise burrows in a wind energy facility near Palm Springs, California. Recordings showed that visits to burrows from four predators increased closer to dirt roads, and decreased closer to wind turbines.