The expansion of wind energy development has been accompanied by concerns over unforeseen bird deaths caused by striking turbine blades and turbine support structures. We conducted sensitivity analyses using Leslie matrix models to determine the effects of survivial of age classes on population growth rates (termed lambda). Population growth rate for ducks is roughly equally sensitive to changes in the juvenile and adult survival rates. For geese, the nonadult age classes survival rates seem to have little impact on population growth. For the adult age class, population growth is extrememly sensitive to changes in the adult survival rate. For gulls, except for very small survival rates, the changes in the adult age class gives the largest change in population growth. The situation for the eagle is very similar to the situation for the gull but even more extreme. Our results show that careful evaluation of how life-history parameters could interact to influence population persistence can be used as a first approximation of the influence of wind energy developments on bird populations.
Predicting the Response of Bird Populations to Wind Energy-Related Deaths
Title: Predicting the Response of Bird Populations to Wind Energy-Related Deaths
January 01, 1998
Conference Name: 36th AIAA Aerospace Sciences
Conference Location: Reno, Nevada, USA
Publisher: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Morrison, M.; Pollock, K.; Oberg, A.; Sinclair, K. (1998). Predicting the Response of Bird Populations to Wind Energy-Related Deaths. Paper Presented at the 36th AIAA Aerospace Sciences, Reno, Nevada, USA.