Bird and bat species' global vulnerability to collision mortality at wind farms revealed through a trait-based assessment

Title: Bird and bat species' global vulnerability to collision mortality at wind farms revealed through a trait-based assessment
Author(s): Thaxter, CB
Buchanan, GM
Carr, J
Butchart, SHM
Newbold, T
Green, RE
Tobias, JA
Foden, WB
O'Brien, S
Pearce-Higgins, JW
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Mitigation of anthropogenic climate change involves deployments of renewable energy worldwide, including wind farms, which can pose a significant collision risk to volant animals. Most studies into the collision risk between species and wind turbines, however, have taken place in industrialized countries. Potential effects for many locations and species therefore remain unclear. To redress this gap, we conducted a systematic literature review of recorded collisions between birds and bats and wind turbines within developed countries. We related collision rate to species-level traits and turbine characteristics to quantify the potential vulnerability of 9538 bird and 888 bat species globally. Avian collision rate was affected by migratory strategy, dispersal distance and habitat associations, and bat collision rates were influenced by dispersal distance. For birds and bats, larger turbine capacity (megawatts) increased collision rates; however, deploying a smaller number of large turbines with greater energy output reduced total collision risk per unit energy output, although bat mortality increased again with the largest turbines. Areas with high concentrations of vulnerable species were also identified, including migration corridors. Our results can therefore guide wind farm design and location to reduce the risk of large-scale animal mortality. This is the first quantitative global assessment of the relative collision vulnerability of species groups with wind turbines, providing valuable guidance for minimizing potentially serious negative impacts on biodiversity.
Publication Date: 13-Sep-2017
Date of Acceptance: 9-Aug-2017
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/56601
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2017.0829
ISSN: 1471-2954
Publisher: Royal Society, The
Journal / Book Title: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume: 284
Issue: 1862
Copyright Statement: © 2017 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Biology
Ecology
Evolutionary Biology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine - Other Topics
Environmental Sciences & Ecology
biodiversity
climate change
impact
meta-analysis
phylogeny
renewable energy
ENERGY FACILITIES
UNITED-STATES
LIFE-HISTORY
TURBINES
FATALITIES
IMPACTS
MODELS
AREAS
biodiversity
climate change
impact
meta-analysis
phylogeny
renewable energy
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Biology
Ecology
Evolutionary Biology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine - Other Topics
Environmental Sciences & Ecology
biodiversity
climate change
impact
meta-analysis
phylogeny
renewable energy
ENERGY FACILITIES
UNITED-STATES
LIFE-HISTORY
TURBINES
FATALITIES
IMPACTS
MODELS
AREAS
06 Biological Sciences
11 Medical And Health Sciences
07 Agricultural And Veterinary Sciences
Publication Status: Published
Article Number: 20170829
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Natural Sciences



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