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2 December 2020 Estimating bat fatality at a Texas wind energy facility: implications transcending the United States–Mexico border
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Abstract

Wind energy development causes bat fatalities. Despite emphasis on understanding and reducing these impacts, few data are available for the southwest region of the United States and northern Mexico. We monitored bat fatalities for a full year (March 2017–March 2018) at a wind energy facility in south Texas near the United States–Mexico border. We established search plots of 100-m radius at eight randomly selected turbines (of 255) and searched the roads and pads at an additional 92 turbines. We conducted weekly searches from spring through fall and bimonthly during winter. We used GenEst (Generalized Mortality Estimator) to estimate bat fatalities corrected for searcher efficiency, carcass removal, and density-weighted proportion of area searched. We found 205 bats during standardized searches, the majority of which were Brazilian free-tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis, 76%). The corrected fatality estimates were 16 bats/megawatt/year (95% confidence interval [CI]: 12 – 30 bats/megawatt/year) across all species. Species composition at our site is similar to that of northern Mexico, an area of expanding wind energy development with no published studies.

© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Society of Mammalogists, www.mammalogy.org.
Sara P. Weaver, Amanda K. Jones, Cris D. Hein, and Ivan Castro-Arellano "Estimating bat fatality at a Texas wind energy facility: implications transcending the United States–Mexico border," Journal of Mammalogy 101(6), 1533-1541, (2 December 2020). https://doi.org/10.1093/jmammal/gyaa132
Received: 30 April 2019; Accepted: 1 October 2020; Published: 2 December 2020
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