Track: Biology and Behavior (bats, eagles and other species)
Bird and Bat Mortality at Wind Farms in the Vicinity of the Great Lakes
Presentation Description: Wind farms in the vicinity of the Great Lakes are generally regarded as having greater impacts to birds and bats, largely because of recognized migratory pathways and greater abundance. Interaction between birds, bats, and wind farms is becoming better understood with continuation of pre- and post-construction avian and bat surveys at wind farm locations throughout the United States. However, the long-standing assumption that wind farms sited at locations near large bodies of water cause greater mortality to birds and bats is generally under studied. This case study expands upon previous efforts to compare bird and bat mortality rates in the United States at wind farms within 5-miles of the Great Lakes (nearshore) and those located further than 5-miles from the Great Lakes (Inland). These comparisons of mortality rates suggest that port-construction mortality rates are similar between nearshore and inland wind farms; which is counter intuitive to traditional assumptions of impacts to birds and bats near large bodies of water.