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Evidence of Absence software

September 19, 2014

Evidence of Absence software (EoA) is a user-friendly application used for estimating bird and bat fatalities at wind farms and designing search protocols. The software is particularly useful in addressing whether the number of fatalities has exceeded a given threshold and what search parameters are needed to give assurance that thresholds were not exceeded. The software is applicable even when zero carcasses have been found in searches. Depending on the effectiveness of the searches, such an absence of evidence of mortality may or may not be strong evidence that few fatalities occurred. Under a search protocol in which carcasses are detected with nearly 100 percent certainty, finding zero carcasses would be convincing evidence that overall mortality rate was near zero. By contrast, with a less effective search protocol with low probability of detecting a carcass, finding zero carcasses does not rule out the possibility that large numbers of animals were killed but not detected in the searches. EoA uses information about the search process and scavenging rates to estimate detection probabilities to determine a maximum credible number of fatalities, even when zero or few carcasses are observed.

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