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A description of the biosis model to assess risk of bird collisions with wind turbines

Authors


  • Associate Editor: Smallwood

Abstract

We describe the model of Biosis Propriety Limited for quantifying potential risk to birds of collisions with wind turbines. The description follows the sequence of the model's processes from input parameters, through modules of the model itself. Aspects of the model that differentiate it from similar models are the primary focus of the description. These include its capacity to evaluate risk for multi-directional flights by its calculation of a mean presented area of a turbine; its use of bird flight data to determine annual flux of movements; a mathematical solution to a typical number of turbines that might be encountered in a given bird flight; capacity to assess wind-farm configurations ranging from turbines scattered in the landscape to linear rows of turbines; and the option of assigning different avoidance rates to structural elements of turbines that pose more or less risk. We also integrate estimates of the population of birds at risk with data for numbers of their flights to predict a number of individual birds that are at risk of collision. Our model has been widely applied in assessments of potential wind-energy developments in Australia. We provide a case history of the model's application to 2 eagle species and its performance relative to empirical experience of collisions by those species. © 2013 The Wildlife Society.

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