A Preliminary Evaluation on the Use of Dogs to Recover Bat Fatalities at Wind Energy Facilities

Journal Article

Title: A Preliminary Evaluation on the Use of Dogs to Recover Bat Fatalities at Wind Energy Facilities
Authors: Arnett, E.
Publication Date:
December 01, 2006
Journal: Wildlife Society Bulletin
Volume: 34
Issue: 5
Pages: 1440-1445
Publisher: Wiley
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Document Access

Website: External Link

Citation

Arnett, E. (2006). A Preliminary Evaluation on the Use of Dogs to Recover Bat Fatalities at Wind Energy Facilities. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 34(5), 1440-1445.
Abstract: 

I assessed the ability of dog-handler teams to recover dead bats (Chiroptera) during fatality searches typically performed at wind energy facilities to determine fatality rates for birds and bats. I conducted this study at the Mountaineer and Meyersdale Wind Energy Centers in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, USA, respectively. Dogs found 71% of bats used during searcher-efficiency trials at Mountaineer and 81% of those at Meyersdale, compared to 42% and 14% for human searchers, respectively. Dogs and humans both found a high proportion of trial bats within 10 m of the turbine, usually on open ground (88% and 75%, respectively). During a 6-day fatality search trial at 5 turbines at Meyersdale, the dog-handler teams found 45 bat carcasses, of which only 42% (n = 19) were found during the same period by humans. In both trials humans found fewer carcasses as vegetation height and density increased, while dog-handler teams search efficiency remained high. Recommendations for evaluating the biases and efficiency when using dogs for bat fatality searches are provided.

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