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Responses of birds and mammals to long-established wind farms in India

Kumara, HN and Babu, S and Rao, GB and Mahato, S and Bhattacharya, M and Rao, NVR and Tamiliniyan, D and Parengal, H and Deepak, D and Balakrishnan, A and Bilaskar, M (2022) Responses of birds and mammals to long-established wind farms in India. In: Scientific Reports, 12 (1).

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-05159-1


Wind turbines have been recognised as an alternative and clean-energy source with a low environmental impact. The selection of sites for wind-farm often creates serious conservation concerns on biodiversity. Wind turbines have become a serious threat to migratory birds as they collide with the turbine blades in some regions across the globe, while the impact on terrestrial mammals is relatively less explored. In this context, we assessed the responses of birds and mammals to the wind turbines in central Karnataka, India from January 2016 to May 2018 using carcass searches to quantify animal collisions (i.e., birds and bats), fixed radius point count for bird population parameters, and an occupancy framework for assessing the factor that determines the spatial occurrence of terrestrial mammals. The mean annual animal fatality rate per wind turbine was 0.26/year. Species richness, abundance, and unique species of birds were relatively higher in control sites over wind turbine sites. Species and functional compositions of birds in control sites were different from wind turbine sites, explaining the varied patterns of bird assemblages of different feeding guilds. Blackbuck, Chinkara, Golden Jackal, and Jungle Cat were less likely to occupy sites with a high number of wind turbines. The study indicates that certain bird and mammal species avoided wind turbine-dominated sites, affecting their distribution pattern. This is of concern to the management of the forested areas with wind turbines. We raised conservation issues and mitigating measures to overcome the negative effects of wind turbines on animals. © 2022, The Author(s).

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Scientific Reports
Publisher: Nature Research
Additional Information: The copyright for this article belongs to the Author(s).
Keywords: animal experiment; article; bird; blackbuck; carcass; controlled study; feeding; golden jackal; Karnataka; mortality rate; nonhuman; population parameters; quantitative analysis; species richness; wind farm; animal; biodiversity; bird; electric power plant; India; physiology, Animals; Biodiversity; Birds; India; Power Plants
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Infectious Disease Research
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2022 03:26
Last Modified: 17 Sep 2022 03:26
URI: https://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/76575

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