Wind Turbines Have Minimal Impacts on Greater Prairie Chickens


Wind Turbines Have Minimal Impacts on Greater Prairie Chickens
By Craig Volland, Air Quality Committee Chair

Greater Prairie Chickens are little bothered by wind turbines, according to researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, who studied 91 nests near an existing wind farm near Ainsworth, Neb.  The only negative impact was some avoidance by females of the turbine service roads.

Last year the Kansas Chapter reported on a similar study conducted by Kansas State University biologists at the Meridian Way Wind Farm near Concordia, Kan. Nest survival was not affected by proximity to wind turbines, researchers found. In fact, female survival rates actually increased after the wind turbines were installed, possibly because the machines kept predators away from the nests. Indeed, the Nebraska results showed fewer predators near the wind turbines. The Kansas researchers concluded that destructive range management practices were the real problem, having reduced grass cover needed by the birds.

See also:
Greater prairie chicken nests unaffected by wind energy development
Prairie-chicken nests appear unaffected by wind energy facility
Wind power does not strongly affect greater prairie chickens, seven-year study finds

 

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