Track: Biology and Behavior (bats, eagles and other species)
Summary of What is Known about Collision Risk Factors for Eagles with Wind Turbines
Presentation Description: The wind industry needs a better way to predict risk to eagles during project siting in order to avoid costly (in dollars and time) pre-construction surveys and permitting processes. The scientific and energy development communities have collected eagle use, behavior and fatality data for years, but there has been no comprehensive review to better understand generalizable patterns. The primary factor currently utilized in predicting take for wind projects is eagle utilization of the area, but collision risk likely involves other more complex relationships and models. We have reviewed both the published and gray literature and identified the factors that have been associated with predicting collision risk of golden and bald eagles. We identify the various models and approaches that have been used to site wind turbines at both the macro- (landscape) and micro- scales (within project area) and evaluate the scientific evidence for those models. Many of the micro-siting models and approaches are based on general knowledge of relationships between orographic lift and topography, and nest and prey locations. Many of the models have not been validated. This presentation will provide the baseline of knowledge in assessing collision risk for eagles.