Environmental Impacts of Wind Power Development on the Population Biology of Greater Prairie-Chickens
Environmental Impacts of Wind Power Development on the Population Biology of Greater Prairie-Chickens Executive Summary 1. We investigated the impacts of wind power development on the demography, movements, and population genetics of Greater Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus cupido) at three sites in northcentral and eastern Kansas for a 7-year period. Only 1 of 3 sites was developed for wind power, the 201MW Meridan Way Wind Power Facility at the Smoky Hills site in northcentral Kansas. Our project report is based on population data for prairie chickens collected during a 2-year preconstruction period (2007-2008), a 3-year postconstruction period (2009-2011) and one final year of lek surveys (2012). Where relevant, we present preconstruction data from our field studies at reference sites in the northern Flint Hills (2007-2009) and southern Flint Hills (2006-2008). 2. We addressed seven potential impacts of wind power development on prairie chickens: lek attendance, mating behavior, use of breeding habitat, fecundity rates, natal dispersal, survival rates, and population numbers. Our analyses of pre- and postconstruction impacts are based on an analysis of covariance design where we modeled population performance as a function of treatment period, distance to eventual or actual site of the nearest wind turbine, and the interaction of these factors. Our demographic and movement data from the 6-year study period at the Smoky Hills more »
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