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Normandeau Develops Wind-Wildlife Collision Risk Tool

Bedford, NH — Thursday, January 17, 2013 — Normandeau Associates, Inc., has developed a spatial, species-specific (avian and bat) collision risk model for wind resource areas in the central United States. Wildlife managers, government agencies, and wind energy developers can use this tool to conduct large-scale preconstruction studies and assist with federal and state regulatory compliance.

Normandeau created and tested this empirical collision risk model during a two-and-a-half year project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. According to model developer Dr. Greg Forcey, Normandeau project manager and senior ecologist, "The collision risk model was based on identifying each species' preferred habitat and other environmental conditions that would increase exposure to wind turbines such as weather and topography in the landscape." Potentially risky behaviors (e.g., migratory or mating display flights) are factored into the model, creating a spatiotemporal prediction of when and where particular species would be most at risk from collision.

The study examined landscape-level influences using a hierarchical spatial model combined with existing datasets and life history knowledge for six bird and three bat species (Horned Lark, Red-eyed Vireo, Mallard, American Avocet, Golden Eagle, Whooping Crane, eastern red bat, hoary bat, and silver-haired bat) in the Upper Great Plains region. Normandeau used ArcGIS 10 and FRAGSTATS to perform the spatial analysis and R to do the statistical analysis.

Normandeau evaluated the tool's effectiveness by comparing model predictions with available mortality data for four focal species--Horned Lark, eastern red bat, silver-haired bat, and hoary bat. For the three bat species, there was a 90% correlation between existing postconstruction mortality data and predicted risk, and for the Horned Lark there was a 55% correlation.

"Based on model results," added Dr. Forcey, "developers can make informed large-scale decisions about wind turbine siting--ensuring the best outcomes for the wind industry, the public, and for wildlife." A user-friendly, web-based interface allows users to identify higher risk locations for the nine species studied. The tool can be adapted for other species and habitats in different geographic areas if desired.

Use the Tool Online:
ArcGIS Viewer for Normandeau's Wind-Wildlife Collision Risk Tool

More on our Wind Energy Services:
Onshore Wind Services

About Normandeau Associates, Inc.
Normandeau Associates, Inc., is one of the largest science-based environmental consulting firms in the United States, serving private and public sectors with specialized ecological and communications services. For more than 40 years, Normandeau has earned a reputation for excellence in understanding and solving complex natural resource and permitting issues within the energy industry.

We have experience on over 120 wind projects, including technical innovation and more than a dozen scientific studies and research projects for offshore wind. The core of Normandeau's approach to successful permitting of wind projects is to provide cutting edge, field-leading expertise across a complete biological spectrum. The firm has also been developing a wide-range of scientific tools to meet the demand for new, cost-effective ways to identify and address wildlife issues. This is evidenced by our innovative technology systems and services such as:
Founded in 1970, Normandeau is a trusted leader in delivering sound, innovative scientific solutions to a global clientele.
Dr. Greg Forcey, Senior Ecologist
Normandeau Associates, Inc.
352-372-4747 (Ext. 7019)
gforcey@normandeau.com

About Normandeau Associates, Inc.
Normandeau Associates, Inc. is one of the largest science-based environmental consulting firms in the United States serving both the private and public sectors. Founded in 1970, it is a trusted leader in delivering sound, innovative scientific solutions to a global clientele. Normandeau's extensive team of experienced field scientists, analysts, researchers, and permitting specialists delivers technically credible information to help achieve project goals, meets regulatory requirements, and promotes sustainable economic development while protecting and restoring natural resources. Headquartered in Bedford, New Hampshire with offices nationwide, Normandeau is 100% owned by its employees. For more information please contact Normandeau at (603) 472-5191 or visit www.normandeau.com.

Normandeau Associates Contact
Robert Varney
603.472.5191
rvarney@normandeau.com