In October 2010, Tetra Tech, Inc. (Tetra Tech) was contracted to develop and implement a 2-year study plan to monitor Project-related avian and bat fatalities and determine fatality rates for these groups. The study plan, approved by the TAC in 2010, incorporated methods consistent with the California Energy Commission’s California Guidelines for Reducing Impacts to Birds and Bats from Wind Energy Development (CEC 2007). Additionally, the study plan incorporated fatality monitoring at all turbines in the form of standardized carcass searches (biweekly and monthly), searcher efficiency and carcass persistence trials to account for inherent biases in estimating Project-related fatality rates, avian use surveys in Year One, and a Wildlife Education and Incidental Reporting Program.
This report summarizes the results of the first 2 years of post-construction mortality monitoring at the Project. The objectives of this study were to ensure project compliance with MM BIO-6 through determining species composition of fatalities and estimating the annual fatality rates of bird and bat fatalities associated with the operation of the Project, to examine spatial and temporal patterns in bird and bat fatalities and to examine sources of bias in the study. Study results for both years are included in this report, and are inclusive of estimated annual fatality rates adjusted for bias. Additionally, a comparison between observed fatalities of Special-Status Species and Species Groups and MM BIO-6 fatality estimate thresholds is made for both years of the study.