Wind energy development is advancing rapidly, but the potential ramifications of this growth on wildlife, particularly birds and bats, are not fully understood. Wind energy development may affect raptor (birds of prey) populations indirectly by displacing them from their previously occupied habitat; however, there are limited empirical data demonstrating this effect. We performed long‐term raptor surveys at a wind farm previously implicated in the displacement of resident raptors and found that the duration of displacement varied among raptor species. Abundances of turkey vultures (Cathartes aura), red‐tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis), and accipiters (sharp‐shinned hawks [Accipiter striatus] and Cooper's hawks [Accipiter cooperii] combined) all rebounded in years 7 and 8 of wind farm operation, while the apparent displacement of northern harriers (Circus hudsonius) and American kestrels (Falco sparverius) persisted across all post‐construction monitoring periods. Our long‐term assessment indicates not only that wind farm construction and operation may displace raptors but also that these impacts can diminish over time for certain species. This finding underscores the importance of assessing potential impacts over the operational life of a given wind farm and the need for long‐term monitoring to validate predicted impacts, particularly for raptor communities.
A long‐term assessment of raptor displacement at a wind farm
Title: A long‐term assessment of raptor displacement at a wind farm
July 30, 2019
Journal: Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment
Publisher: The Ecological Society of America
Dohm, R.; Jennelle, C.; Garvin, J.; Drake, D. (2019). A long‐term assessment of raptor displacement at a wind farm. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 17(6).