Track: Biology and Behavior (bats, eagles and other species)
Raptor Displacement Can Diminish Over Time
Presentation Description: Wind energy development may affect raptor populations indirectly by displacing them from their previously occupied habitat; however, there are limited empirical data demonstrating this effect. We performed long-term raptor surveys at a wind farm previously implicated in the displacement of resident raptors and found that the duration of displacement varied among raptor species. Abundances of turkey vultures, red-tailed hawks, and accipiters (sharp-shinned hawks and Cooper’s hawks combined) all rebounded in years 7 and 8 of wind farm operation, while the apparent displacement of northern harriers and American kestrels persisted across all post-construction monitoring periods. Our long-term assessment indicates not only that wind farm construction and operation may displace raptors but also that these impacts can diminish over time for certain species. This finding underscores the importance of assessing potential impacts over the operational life of a given wind farm and the need for long-term monitoring to validate predicted impacts, particularly for raptor communities.