Mapping & Decision Support Tools
Normandeau Associates, Inc., has developed a spatial, species-specific (avian and bat) collision risk model for wind resource areas in the central United States.
A real-time, online checklist program, eBird has revolutionized the way that the birding community reports and accesses information about birds. Launched in 2002 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, eBird provides rich data sources for basic information on bird abundance and distribution at a variety of spatial and temporal scales.
The Western Governors’ Wildlife Council created the Western Wildlife Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool (CHAT) in 2013. The CHAT aims to bring greater certainty and predictability to planning efforts by establishing a common starting point for discussing the intersection of development and wildlife.
CHATs in Individual States
- Alaska: Fish Resource Monitor
- Arizona: HabiMap™ Arizona
- California: Areas of Conservation Emphasis (ACE-II)
- Montana: Crucial Areas Assessment and Planning System (CAPS)
- Washington: Priority Habitats and Species (PHS on the Web)
- Wyoming: The Wyoming Natural Resource and Energy Explorer (NREX)
- Southern Great Plains CHAT (for lesser prairie chicken across range in Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas)
The Southern Plains Wind & Wildlife Planner provides best management practices for priority natural resources in Colorado and New Mexico. The tool is designed to help wind energy developers reduce potential impacts to wildlife and ecosystems during the planning and development of projects in these states. Partners throughout the Southern Great Plains, including the Colorado Renewables and Conservation Collaborative and New Mexico Wind & Wildlife Collaborative worked together to develop this Southern Plains Wind & Wildlife Planner.
SeaSketch is a platform for collaborative ocean GeoDesign. Using SeaSketch, anyone with a web browser and Internet connection may design management plans, including marine protected areas, transportation zones, renewable energy sites, and more.
Conservation Biology Institute Decision-support for Conservation in the Tehachapis and Southern Sierra
The Conservation Biology Institute, through a grant from the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, is working with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to develop a science-based regional planning framework for the high wind resource region of the eastern Tehachapi Mountains and southeastern Sierra. The project is intended to facilitate decision-making on a regional basis, per the recent federal guidance policies, through spatially-explicit and transparent decision-support tools for wind energy development and conservation.
LandScope America—a collaborative project of NatureServe and the National Geographic Society—is a new online resource for the land-protection community and the public. By bringing together maps, data, photos, and stories about America’s natural places and open spaces, the goal is to inform and inspire conservation of our lands and waters.
Accurate fatality estimates are fundamental to understanding acute and cumulative effects of renewable energy development on wildlife populations, but accurately estimating fatalities is difficult. Over the past decade, several new estimators have been developed, causing some confusion among practitioners regarding which estimator to use when, and how the estimators differ. With support from federal and private agencies, USGS statisticians brought together the developers of these different estimators to collaborate on GenEst, a single, more accurate estimator of fatalities and the associated uncertainty. GenEst is an open source R-package.
Warren-Hicks, W., J. Newman, R. Wolpert, B. Karas, and L. Tran. (California Wind Energy Association.) 2013. Improving Methods for Estimating Fatality of Birds and Bats at Wind Energy Facilities. California Energy Commission. Publication Number: CEC-500-2012-086.
USGS Fatality Estimator (2012). By Manuela Huso, U.S. Geological Survey; and Nicholas Som and Lew Ladd, EcoStats, LLC
Erickson, W.P., M.D. Strickland, G.D. Johnson, and J.W. Kern. 2000. Examples of Statistical Methods to Assess Risk of Impacts to Birds from Windplants. Proceedings of the National Avian-Wind Power Planning Meeting III. National Wind Coordinating Collaborative (NWCC), c/o RESOLVE, Inc., Washington, D.C. page 172.
Shoenfeld, P. 2004. Suggestions Regarding Avian Mortality Extrapolation. Technical memo provided to FPL Energy. West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, HC70, Box 553, Davis, West Virginia, 26260
Huso, M.M.P. 2010. An Estimator of Mortality from Observed Carcasses. Environmetrics 21 (3): 318-329.
Orloff, S. and A. Flannery. 1992. Wind Turbine Effects on Avian Activity, Habitat Use, and Mortality in Altamont Pass and Solano County Wind Resource Areas, 1989-1991. Final Report P700-92-001 to Alameda, Contra Costa, and Solano Counties, and the California Energy Commission, Sacramento, California, by Biosystems Analysis, Inc., Tiburon, California.
Jain, A., P. Kerlinger, R. Curry, and L. Slobodnik. 2007. Annual Report for the Maple Ridge Wind Power Project: Post-Construction Bird and Bat Fatality Study. Final Report. Prepared for PPM Energy and Horizon Energy and Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) for the Maple Ridge Project Study.