Over 330 wind-wildlife stakeholders engaged with AWWI at the 10th Wind Wildlife Research Meeting to set the stage for wind-wildlife solutions in 2015 and beyond.
This year marks another success for the Wind Wildlife Research Meeting, as more than 330 participants attended three and a half days of workshops, oral presentations, and poster sessions representing the work of nearly 100 presenters. This year’s biannual meeting, which marked the 10th meeting and 20th anniversary of the National Wind Coordinating Collaborative, spotlighted the most recent and cutting edge research on a wide array of the most relevant wind-wildlife topics being addressed by industry, policy-makers, conservation groups, and scientists. The Keynote Speaker was Dr. Chad Wilsey of National Audubon Society, who spoke about the recently completed study of the effects of climate change on North American bird species.
Before the full conference began, AWWI hosted two half-day workshops to provide perspectives on managing risk to lesser prairie-chickens and at-risk species of bats at wind energy facilities. The workshops were designed to feature a hands-on approach that allowed participants to blend policy, science, and management decisions into realistic case studies and wind energy development scenarios regarding these species.
AWWI opened the Wind Wildlife Research Meeting with a presentation outlining the progress made in wind/wildlife over the past twenty years, far exceeding any of our expectations. The meeting program featured 13 sessions, providing the latest research on risk assessment, estimating impacts, and the contextual importance of wind energy and its impacts. Multiple sessions focused on the nexus of golden eagles and wind development, including updated population estimates, new modeling techniques for risk, and a demographic assessment of the eagles killed at Altamont Pass.
The final sessions of the meeting were devoted to researchers developing high tech devices and techniques for detection and deterrence of bird and bat species at wind energy facilities. The technologies discussed (including high-frequency radar systems, improved thermal imagery processing techniques, and high-resolution GPS trackers) represent the cutting edge of research intended to avoid and minimize the impacts of wind energy to birds and bats.
Several NWCC veterans representing high levels in industry, the science community, and federal agencies noted to us that this “is the best meeting worldwide on wind-wildlife research and that this was the best meeting of all wind/wildlife Research Meetings.” Further, speakers and participants alike noted that the tone in the room was cooperative, which allowed attendees to focus on the science and how to develop practical solutions for wind-wildlife issues.
Thank you to all who supported and attended this important event, and we hope to see you in 2016!