Performance of the GenEst Statistical Mortality Estimator

Mass. Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

May 26, 2021

In this first webinar of an ongoing AWWI series on renewable energy and wildlife topics, AWWI Technical Report authors from WEST and USGS present on a study that compared the performance of GenEst statistical mortality estimator to the two estimators most often used in North America, the Huso and Shoenfeld estimators.

Wind energy developers commonly assess collision mortality of birds and bats at wind facilities by conducting post-construction monitoring (PCM) studies. However, it is difficult to detect every instance of a bird or bat collision fatality and, therefore, to accurately estimate mortality from collisions. Mortality estimators are used to adjust raw carcass counts by incorporating the results of “bias trials” (field studies that estimate the correction needed for sources of detection error) that estimate the correction needed for sources of detection error and thus calculate the probability that a carcass will be detected.

This study compared the performance of GenEst, the newest mortality estimator, to the Huso and Shoenfeld estimators, by simulating mortality and search conditions that might occur in in the field and evaluating each estimator’s ability to accurately estimate a known carcass count. The study showed that GenEst consistently outperformed the other estimators on the metrics that were compared.

View the Technical Report.


  • Paul Rabie, WEST
  • Manuela Huso, USGS