Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Texas
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Texas Project


OA 91: NWI SWiFT Bird Environmental Study

October 2019 - September 2021


Personnel

Participating Agencies

  • DOE - Sandia National Laboratories
Jennifer Harris, MS student with the Texas Unit, is studying long term site occupancy and productivity of American Kestrels in relation to wind energy development and annual variance in weather conditions.

Sandia National Laboratories and Texas Tech University have partnered to initiate wind energy research with scaled wind turbines at a Scaled Wind Farm Technology (SWiFT) facility. However, a component of permitting for this site is research and monitoring of the local avian community to assess immediate and long-term influences of the facility.

Wind energy is a clean form of energy but the negative influences through direct mortality and/or habitat displacement are not well understood.

We are collaborating with Texas Tech University to conduct this study.

Our research is aimed at assessing direct mortality of volant species due to wind turbines, but also long term trends in occupancy and, for select species, survival and productivity of resident and migrant grassland species.

Presentations Presentation Date
Boal, C.W., M.A. Thornley, and S.D. Mullican. American Kestrel food habits: surprises and unintended consequences of conservation actions. 2019 Meeting of The Raptor Research Foundation, Fort Collins, CO. November 2019
Harris, J.R., and C.W. Boal. 2019. Seasonal and annual variation in raptor species presence and abundance in the southern Great Plains of Texas. Annual Meeting of the Texas Chapter of The Wildlife Society, Montgomery, TX, 20-23 February 2019 November 2019
Harris, J.R., and C.W. Boal. 2020. Comparative Productivity of American Kestrels in a Nest Box Program and Natural Nests in Lubbock County, Texas. Meeting of the Texas Chapter of the Wildlife Society, Corpus Christi, TX, 14 February 2020. February 2020