New-LeslieVANCOUVER, Wash. – A simple model to predict bird fatalities at wind generating facilities uses readily available data and is intended for broad local application.

The model looks at only three parameters: hazardous footprint, bird exposure to turbines and collision probability.

“This simplicity is part of what makes the model accessible to others,” said Leslie New, assistant professor of statistics at Washington State University Vancouver who led the research as a U.S. Geological Survey postdoctoral fellow.

“It also allows wind facility developers to consider ways to reduce bird fatalities without having to collect a complicated set of data,” she said.

Bird fatalities due to collisions with rotating turbine blades are a leading concern for wildlife and wind facility managers. The study examined golden eagles as a case study because they are susceptible to collisions with wind turbines in part because of their soaring and hunting behavior.

The article is available in PLOS ONE online at http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0130978.

Read more about the study at http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=4265&from=rss_home#.VaQBHk3bKfB.