An applied tool for bird and bat fatalities estimates in wind farms.
Dogs have been used for decades to assist humans, and their use for wildlife surveys is of increasing interest to scientists and wildlife managers. Such interest increases when conservation programs are implemented for endangered species. Considering that the number of wind turbines has more than doubled since 2005, and is expected to continue to increase in the future years, the conservation of birds and bats must be safeguarded.
Wind farms are visited regularly (weekly or monthly) during the duration of the fatalities survey program;
The areas around the turbines are prospected with a handler and with a dog team to detect any dead bird or bat (due to collision with turbines);
Data collected are used to estimate the real fatalities rate of birds and bats...
Human Vs Dog
Dog Detection Efficiency*
Detection time is less than 2,5 minutes for carcass placed apart 25-125m.
(*) - J. Paula et al. Journal for Nature Conservation 19 (2011) 202 - 208
Why is that important?
Because we can search for bigger wind farm areas, with higher accuracy and in less time;
We can improve the fatalities estimation rates;
Have a better knowledge of the real impact on bird and bat population;
Implement a better bat and bird survey programs and guarantee the achievement of their goals;
We can be more cost/efficient regarding fatalities search programs...