Wind Turbine Fatalities Approach a Level of Concern in a Raptor Population

Journal Article

Title: Wind Turbine Fatalities Approach a Level of Concern in a Raptor Population
Publication Date:
December 01, 2013
Journal: Journal for Nature Conservation
Volume: 21
Issue: 6
Pages: 394-400
Publisher: Elsevier
Stressor:
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Document Access

Website: External Link

Citation

Bellebaum, J.; Korner-Nievergelt, F.; Durr, T.; Mammen, U. (2013). Wind Turbine Fatalities Approach a Level of Concern in a Raptor Population. Journal for Nature Conservation, 21(6), 394-400.
Abstract: 

Mortality from collisions with increasing numbers of wind turbines is a potential hazard to raptor populations, but the actual effects on a population scale have rarely been studied based on field data. We estimated annual collision numbers for Red Kites Milvus milvus in the German federal state of Brandenburg (29,483 km2). A hierarchical model considering carcass persistence rate, searcher efficiency and the probability that a killed animal falls into a searched area was applied to results of carcass searches at 617 turbines. Collision risk varied significantly with season. The model estimated 308 (95% CrI 159–488) Red Kite fatalities at 3044 turbines operating during 2012, representing 3.1% of the estimated post-breeding population of 9972 individuals. Using the potential biological removal (PBR) method, mortality thresholds of 4.0% were obtained for migratory Red Kite populations. This level of mortality may be reached when turbine numbers increase within a few years. Since wind turbine collisions may affect Red Kites throughout the global range, a more detailed assessment of the actual impacts on populations is needed, especially because the PBR does not account for the predominance of adult birds among the collision victims.

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