Wind Wildlife Research Fund 2019 Research Projects

The Fund supported seven priority wind-wildlife research projects in 2019.

Project results are currently undergoing peer and expert review and are being submitted to peer-reviewed journals for publication or will be published as AWWI technical reports.

Refining Smart Curtailment Practices for Bats

  • Using local and regional weather data to improve smart curtailment strategies for bats: Scope the feasibility of using bat fatality models developed with machine learning technology and regional weather data to provide targeted, proactive turbine curtailments, resulting in reduced bat fatalities and reduced production losses.
  • Comparing the effectiveness of curtailment strategies in reducing bat fatalities: Compile data from post construction monitoring studies contributed to the American Wind Wildlife Information Center (AWWIC) to evaluate species-specific variation in bat fatalities among different curtailment regimes.

Enhancing Understanding of Bat Activities and Fatalities

  • Relationship between bat acoustic activity and collision fatalities: Pair pre-construction bat acoustic activity surveys with publicly available fatality estimates from the same wind facilities to evaluate the ability of pre-construction acoustic activity to predict bat collision risk.
  • Reducing fatalities of migratory tree bats at wind energy facilities: Evaluate AWWIC fatality data to further assess the relationship between landscape-level attributes and variation in fatalities of hoary bat and other tree bat species among wind energy facilities.

Refining Curtailment and Fatality Estimates for Eagles

  • Using eagle behavior to refine turbine curtailment strategies: Use data collected by the IdentiFlight detection/curtailment technology to model eagle behavior in the vicinity of wind turbines to improve curtailment algorithms to minimize risk to eagles and maximize energy production.
  • Improving raptor carcass persistence estimates: Evaluate regional variation in persistence of game bird and raptor carcasses used in bias trials to determine the effect of possible differences in persistence on raptor fatality estimates.

Evaluating Habitat-Based Impacts for Grouse

  • Lesser prairie-chicken response to a wind energy development: Continue the third year of an ongoing GPS-collar study of lesser prairie chicken movement at an operational wind facility. The project seeks to understand potential long-term effects of wind facilities to the species.