Renewable energy production can kill individual birds, but little is known about how it affects avian populations. We assessed the vulnerability of populations for 23 priority bird species killed at wind and solar facilities in California, USA. Bayesian hierarchical models suggested that 48% of these species were vulnerable to population-level effects from added fatalities caused by renewables and other sources. Effects of renewables extended far beyond the location of energy production to impact bird populations in distant regions across continental migration networks. Populations of species associated with grasslands where turbines were located were most vulnerable to wind. Populations of nocturnal migrant species were most vulnerable to solar, despite not typically being associated with deserts where the solar facilities we evaluated were located. Our findings indicate that addressing declines of North American bird populations requires consideration of the effects of renewables and other anthropogenic threats on both nearby and distant populations of vulnerable species.
|Title||Vulnerability of avian populations to renewable energy production|
|Authors||Tara Conkling, Hannah B. Vander Zanden, Taber D Allison, James E. Diffendorfer, Thomas V Dietsch, A. Duerr, Amy L Fesnock, Rebecca R. Hernandez, S. R. Loss, David M. Nelson, Peter M. Sanzenbacher, Julie L. Yee, Todd E. Katzner|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Royal Society Open Science|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center; Western Ecological Research Center|