Potential Hazards of Wind Energy For Rare, Tereatened, and Endangered Birds and Batsin Texas

Document Type: Original Research Paper

Authors

Department of Geography and Environmental Science Program, University of North Texas 1155 Union Circle #305279, Denton, TX 76203-5279, USA

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to estimate relative potential hazards to birds and bats from
wind developments in Texas. We compiled lists of rare, threatened, or endangered species, along with their respective ranges in Texas. Using a geographic information system (GIS), we calculated a potential hazard index (PHI) for 31 bird and ten bat species based upon the percentage of known or observed species range area (by county) within each wind speed classification. Results demonstrate considerable range in relative hazard, with the lesser prairie chicken and ferruginous hawk among the most potentially impacted birds; and the pale Townsend’s bat, western small-footed bat, and big free-tailed bat among the most potentially impacted bats. While additional data are necessary to establish actual impacts of wind developments, relative potential hazard indices may help prioritize future studies.

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