In consultation with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, a consortium of owners of Kenetech wind turbines operating in the Altamont Wind Resource Area near Livermore, California have developed a plan to reduce the risk of avian fatalities involving their wind turbines and related facilities. The following is a status report of the actions that have been taken to date to implement this plan.
Implementation activity highlights include:
- Completion of the first quantitative analysis of Golden Eagle and Ret-tailed Hawk fatalities in the Windplant. This information was employed to redesign the implementation strategy for designating turbine towers for treatment. High risk turbines and topographic situations have been targeted to receive priority consideration in scheduling treatment.
- The Wildlife Response and Reporting System has been continued as committed to in the plan. The data collected since 1989 was utilized in the analysis cited above and will continue to be collected and utilized as a key part of the adaptive management element of the plan.
- Design, construction and testing of more than a dozen potential perch guards for turbine towers using captive Golden Eagle and Red-tailed Hawks in a simulated setting. The devices were redesigned based on these tests and are in production for field application beginning in mid-December.
- Establishment of a timetable for installation of perch guards and visual cues for modification of flight behavior for the 1997-98 off season period.
- Developments of an outside peer reviewed program to evaluate teh efficacy of perch guards and flight behavior modification devices. The BACI design was employed in this program and where appropriate in every other evaluation program employed in this plan. Pre-treatment observations have been completed. Competed retrofitting of 81% of the poles designated for modifications in the Wildplant electrical distribution system. The balance will be retrofitted by December 31, 1997 as scheduled in the plan.
- Provided assistance to the Alameda County operated ground squirrel control program to assure uniformity of treatment application pre and post treatment monitoring of the treated areas and broad based rancher participation. The result is that fewer Golden Eagles now utilize those areas where they prey base has been reduced. This modification of the avian plan to incorporate the prey-predator relationship is an example of adaptive management.