In monitoring studies at wind farms, the estimation of bird and bat mortality caused by collision must take into account carcass removal by scavengers or decomposition. In this paper we propose the use of survival analysis techniques to model the time of carcass removal. The proposed method is applied to data collected in ten Portuguese wind farms. We present and compare results obtained from semiparametric and parametric models assuming four main competing lifetime distributions (exponential, Weibull, log-logistic and log-normal). Both homogeneous parametric models and accelerated failure time models were used. The fitted models enabled the estimation of the carcass persistence rates and the calculation of a scavenging correction factor for avian mortality estimation. Additionally, we discuss the impact that the distributional assumption can have on parameter estimation. The proposed methodology integrates the survival probability estimation problem with the analysis of covariate effects. Estimation is based on the most suitable model while simultaneously accounting for censored observations, diminishing scavenging rate estimation bias. Additionally, the method establishes a standardized statistical procedure for the analysis of carcass removal time in subsequent studies.
Modeling Carcass Removal Time for Avian Mortality Assessment in Wind Farms Using Survival Analysis
Title: Modeling Carcass Removal Time for Avian Mortality Assessment in Wind Farms Using Survival Analysis
March 01, 2013
Journal: Environmental and Ecological Statistics
Bispo, R.; Bernardino, J.; Marques, T.; Pestana, D. (2013). Modeling Carcass Removal Time for Avian Mortality Assessment in Wind Farms Using Survival Analysis. Environmental and Ecological Statistics, 20(1), 147-165.