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Fatality estimator user’s guide

January 1, 2018

This publication is the User's Guide for software developed to estimate wildlife fatalities at wind-power facilities, although the software is applicable to a variety of circumstances in which the objective is to estimate the size of a superpopulation and the probability of detection of the individuals is less than one. Simple counts of carcasses do not accurately reflect fatality and do not allow comparison among locations because carcasses may be detected at different rates. This software uses data collected during carcass searches and knowledge of detection rates to accurately estimate the number of fatalities and to provide a measure of precision associated with the estimate. These estimates are fundamental to understanding acute and cumulative effects of wind power on wildlife populations.

Only carcasses judged to have been killed after the previous search should be included in the fatality data set submitted to this estimator software. This estimator already corrects for carcasses missed in previous searches, so carcasses judged to have been missed at least once should be considered “incidental” and not included in the fatality data set used to estimate fatality. Note: When observed carcass count is <5 (including 0 for species known to be at risk, but not observed), USGS Data Series 881 ( is recommended for fatality estimation.

Publication Year 2018
Title Fatality estimator user’s guide
DOI 10.3133/ds729
Authors Manuela M. Huso, Nicholas Som, Lew Ladd
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Data Series
Series Number 729
Index ID ds729
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center