Impact of Wind Energy Development on Breeding Duck Pairs in the PPR

Impact of Wind Energy Development on Breeding Duck Pairs in the PPR

We conducted 10,321 wetland surveys during 2008-2010 in south-central North Dakota and north-central South Dakota to assess the impact of wind energy development on five species of breeding ducks (mallard, Northern pintail, blue-winged teal, gadwall, and Northern shoveler).  Using established breeding pair survey techniques, we surveyed wetlands on control sites and wind development sites, which were defined as wetlands within 800 m of wind turbines.  Response varied among species and years, but overall we observed a 20% decrease in breeding pair densities on sites with wind development.  The direct cause is difficult to discern but may be related to land use, activity, and infrastructure associated with wind energy development, and/or age of the wind farm.

For more information see Loesch et al. 2013.  Effect of wind energy development on breeding duck densities in the Prairie Pothole Region.  Journal of Wildlife Management DOI:10.1002/jwmg.481

Partners: USFWS Kulm, Sand Lake, and Chase Lake WMDs, Region 6 HAPET, Ducks Unlimited