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Title: Scavenger removal of bird carcasses at simulated wind turbines: Does carcass type matter?

Abstract

Wind energy development can negatively impact bird populations due to bird–turbine collisions. To accurately estimate bird mortality at wind farms, the number of dead birds found under turbines is commonly corrected for carcass removal by scavengers, which is quantified by measuring persistence of experimental carcasses through time. These studies often use domestic birds as surrogates because carcasses of wild birds (e.g., raptors) are difficult to obtain. We assessed scavenger removal of carcasses from five bird species at simulated turbines to determine whether domestic surrogates are scavenged at a different rate than raptors, species of interest for wind turbine mortality. The percentage of carcasses scavenged during 14-d rounds ranged from 34.6% for American kestrels ( Falco sparverius) to 65.4% for chickens ( Gallus gallus), and the percentage of carcasses completely removed ranged from 13.5% for red-tailed hawks ( Buteo jamaicensis) to 67.3% for northern bobwhites ( Colinus virginianus). Carcass type (i.e., species) was the only predictor included in the best-fit logistic regression model of complete carcass removal, and a survival analysis indicated carcass type influenced elapsed time to scavenging events. Our results suggest the use of surrogate species to quantify carcass removal at wind turbines could lead to inaccurate mortality estimates.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2];  [3];  [4]
  1. US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA)., Sandusky, OH (United States). National Wildlife Research Center
  2. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, Great Falls, MT (United States)
  3. Environmental Solutions & Innovations, Inc., Cincinnati, OH (United States)
  4. Savannah River Ecology Laboratory and Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia, Aiken South Carolina 29802 USA
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Georgia, Athens, GA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1408062
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1408194; OSTI ID: 1509807
Grant/Contract Number:  
EM0004391
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Published Article
Journal Name:
Ecosphere
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 8; Journal Issue: 11; Journal ID: ISSN 2150-8925
Publisher:
Ecological Society of America
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
17 WIND ENERGY; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; bird; carcass; collision; mortality; raptor; scavenger; wind turbine

Citation Formats

DeVault, Travis L., Seamans, Thomas W., Linnell, Kimberly E., Sparks, Dale W., and Beasley, James C.. Scavenger removal of bird carcasses at simulated wind turbines: Does carcass type matter?. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1002/ecs2.1994.
DeVault, Travis L., Seamans, Thomas W., Linnell, Kimberly E., Sparks, Dale W., & Beasley, James C.. Scavenger removal of bird carcasses at simulated wind turbines: Does carcass type matter?. United States. doi:10.1002/ecs2.1994.
DeVault, Travis L., Seamans, Thomas W., Linnell, Kimberly E., Sparks, Dale W., and Beasley, James C.. Wed . "Scavenger removal of bird carcasses at simulated wind turbines: Does carcass type matter?". United States. doi:10.1002/ecs2.1994.
@article{osti_1408062,
title = {Scavenger removal of bird carcasses at simulated wind turbines: Does carcass type matter?},
author = {DeVault, Travis L. and Seamans, Thomas W. and Linnell, Kimberly E. and Sparks, Dale W. and Beasley, James C.},
abstractNote = {Wind energy development can negatively impact bird populations due to bird–turbine collisions. To accurately estimate bird mortality at wind farms, the number of dead birds found under turbines is commonly corrected for carcass removal by scavengers, which is quantified by measuring persistence of experimental carcasses through time. These studies often use domestic birds as surrogates because carcasses of wild birds (e.g., raptors) are difficult to obtain. We assessed scavenger removal of carcasses from five bird species at simulated turbines to determine whether domestic surrogates are scavenged at a different rate than raptors, species of interest for wind turbine mortality. The percentage of carcasses scavenged during 14-d rounds ranged from 34.6% for American kestrels (Falco sparverius) to 65.4% for chickens (Gallus gallus), and the percentage of carcasses completely removed ranged from 13.5% for red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) to 67.3% for northern bobwhites (Colinus virginianus). Carcass type (i.e., species) was the only predictor included in the best-fit logistic regression model of complete carcass removal, and a survival analysis indicated carcass type influenced elapsed time to scavenging events. Our results suggest the use of surrogate species to quantify carcass removal at wind turbines could lead to inaccurate mortality estimates.},
doi = {10.1002/ecs2.1994},
journal = {Ecosphere},
issn = {2150-8925},
number = 11,
volume = 8,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {11}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record at 10.1002/ecs2.1994

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