In 2009, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife developed the On-Shore Bird and Bat Pre- and Post-Construction Monitoring Protocol for Commercial Wind Energy Facilities in Ohio (dated May 4, 2009). Standardized procedures within this document have and will continue to allow the Division of Wildlife to make comparisons among proposed on-shore wind energy facilities throughout the state. Since the development of the 2009 protocol, the wind industry has expanded throughout the Midwest and the country. Accordingly, there have been several wind facilities that have conducted post-construction evaluations examining the potential impacts wind energy facilities have on wildlife. Several different methodologies have been utilized and suggested in post-construction monitoring of wind energy facilities; some have been more efficient and more statistically accurate than others. Given the importance of being adaptive to the new science provided by the existing monitoring, and evaluations of protocols, as well as a need for a more efficient methodology, the ODNR Division of Wildlife has recently reviewed the Mortality Search section of the On-Shore Bird and Bat Pre- and Post-Construction Monitoring Protocol for Commercial Wind Energy Facilities in Ohio (dated May 4, 2009) and amended this section of the protocol.
The objectives of the post-construction monitoring in Ohio are to determine if wind energy facility operations are causing an unacceptable level of impact on wildlife, as well as evaluate potential rare events. Results from monitoring will enable ODNR Division of Wildlife to make recommendations on additional minimization or mitigation measures that, if needed, can be employed. Additionally, the ODNR Division of Wildlife will assess the predictive value of pre-construction monitoring by comparing those results with post-construction mortality, and ultimately provide Ohio-specific data to define typical or expected versus unacceptable levels of mortality to wildlife from wind energy facilities within Ohio.