Animal Interactions at Wind Energy Facilities – Coyotes
Coyotes were the second most frequently observed mammalian predator on the trail cameras. Coyotes are considered one of the primary predators of desert tortoises. In this instance, a coyote is passing by a burrow when it suddenly has a change in attention as it is passing by. It then approaches the burrow and sniffs all around the burrow entrance (including the apron and overhanging plants) before it decides to move on. Scientists mostly observed investigatory behavior in the predators, and some hunting cues were also observed.
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.