The following protocols are meant to establish a standardized framework in which pre and post-construction surveying should be conducted at proposed commercial wind turbine facilities within the state of Ohio. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) will assess the level of surveying effort required within the project area boundary limits (henceforth referred to as the “site”), based upon the information provided from section 1.(a) of the Cooperative Agreement, the habitat characteristics within the site (determined through a site visit by ODNR Division of Wildlife biologists and GIS analysis), and its proximity to focal points of bird and bat activity. Additional surveys for species other than birds and bats may be requested based upon a review of the ODNR Division of Natural Areas and Preserves’ natural heritage database. These studies are meant to document the level and timing of species activity, diversity and abundance. Results of the studies outlined within this document will allow the ODNR Division of Wildlife to assess the potential impact that a proposed turbine facility may have either directly through mortalities or indirectly through avoidance behaviors, on Ohio’s wildlife resources. Post-construction mortality estimates will be used to validate or refute preconstruction predictions, and to determine if the use of mitigation measures is warranted in order to minimize impacts to wildlife. By having consistent study methodology among projects, over time a regional assessment may be formed for adjusting the methods or duration of the studies recommended.
The type of surveying recommended will be at the discretion of the ODNR Division of Wildlife, and will be tailored to the specific site, but may fit generally into one of the categories listed below. These survey types are to be cumulative, meaning if the “moderate” level of surveying is required, the survey techniques described in the “minimum” level must also be conducted. While this document is intended to serves as a guide for wind developers as they plan projects and determine the level and type of wildlife monitoring that is likely to be recommended, the ODNR Division of Wildlife reserves the right to be flexible in the application of these surveys based on site-specific or project-specific conditions.