This report, the seventh in a series, contains the results of the post-construction monitoring program for bird and bat resources at the Wolfe Island Wind Plant for the period between January 1 and June 30, 2012 (the Reporting Period). The Wolfe Island Wind Plant is a 197.8 megawatt (MW) wind power plant on Wolfe Island, Township of Frontenac Islands, Frontenac County, Ontario. Eighty-six 2.3 MW wind turbine generators (WTGs) and ancillary facilities (i.e., substation, transmission lines) have been placed over the western portion of Wolfe Island with additional supporting electrical infrastructure on the Kingston mainland, near the city of Kingston, Ontario.
Consistent with the schedule for post-construction monitoring outlined in Section 5.1 of the Post-Construction Follow-Up Plan for Bird and Bat Resources for the Wolfe Island Wind Plant (revised February 2010) (the Follow-up Plan), field surveys conducted during the Reporting Period included:
• bird and bat mortality monitoring;
• disturbance effects monitoring – wintering raptors; and
• disturbance effects monitoring – breeding grassland birds.
Mortality monitoring was carried out by employees of Wolfe Island Wind Monitoring, an independent consulting firm, according to a schedule and methods prepared by Stantec Consulting Ltd. (Stantec) that were based on the Follow-up Plan. In addition to carcass searches, trials to determine various corrective factors for searcher efficiency and scavenging rates were conducted during the Reporting Period.
A total of 20 carcasses of 13 bird species were collected during the Reporting Period. Bird fatalities were more commonly found later in the spring period (May and June), with no carcasses recorded in January or February. During the Reporting Period all species had provincial S-Ranks of S5 (i.e., Secure – common, widespread and abundant in Ontario), S4 (i.e., Apparently Secure – uncommon but not rare) or SNA (i.e., Not Applicable - A conservation status rank is not applicable because the species is not a suitable target for conservation activities).
Three Bobolink fatalities were observed during the Reporting Period. This species is listed as Threatened on the Species at Risk in Ontario list of the provincial Endangered Species Act (2007). Bobolink has also been identified by the Committee on Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) as threatened, but has not been added to a schedule of the Species at Risk Act (2002).
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