Special Journal Issue Explores Wind Energy and Its Effects on Wildlife

Wind energy and wildlife are explored in the Spring 2016 issue of Human-Wildlife Interactions.Contacts: Michael Hutchins, ABC, (202) 888-7485; Rosanna Vail, Human-Wildlife Interactions

(Washington, D.C., May 4, 2016) Are wind energy and wildlife compatible? A special issue of the peer-reviewed journal Human-Wildlife Interactions tackles that question. With seven articles written by 20 experts from nongovernmental organizations, universities, and federal agencies, the issue presents a snapshot of the most current research on how wind energy affects wildlife.

Among the topics it covers:

• a comparison of recent approaches to avian fatalities at wind energy facilities,

• what we know about the impact of wind energy on bats,

• how to mitigate the impact of wind turbines on wildlife,

• how to assess risks to birds and bats before wind energy facilities are built and how to measure fatality rates post-construction,

• how to determine birds' vulnerability to offshore wind development, and

• related policy issues that can impact proper siting, mitigation, and compensation.

Dr. Bruce Leopold, who recently retired as the head of the wildlife department at Mississippi State University, and Dr. Michael Hutchins, American Bird Conservancy's Bird-Smart Wind Energy Campaign Director, co-edited the special issue on Wildlife and Wind Energy: Are They Compatible?

“It's extremely timely,” Hutchins said. “Wind energy development and its associated infrastructure, including roads and power lines, are one of the fastest-growing threats to our nation's ecologically important birds and bats.”

The information presented in the special issue should be useful to “wildlife managers, conservationists, and local, state, and federal government decision makers who need to understand what the potential impacts of this rapidly growing industry are and how they might deal with them,” Leopold said. But it's also designed to educate a broad audience about the other side of alternative energy.

“Wind energy can help to address anthropogenic climate change but is not ‘green' if it is improperly sited or operated and killing hundreds of thousands or millions of birds and bats annually,” Hutchins said. “It is possible to be concerned about climate change and also want wind and solar energy done right so that its impact on wildlife is minimized. We could be doing so much better.”

The articles in this special issue will be published in volume 10, issue 1 of Human-Wildlife Interactions. Printed copies are now available. All articles published in Human-Wildlife Interactions are open access and available online at http://berrymaninstitute.org/htm/human-wildlife-interactions-journal.


Human-Wildlife Interactions is an international, peer-reviewed journal published by the Jack H Berryman Institute, a national organization based in the Department of Wildlife Resources at Utah State University. The journal publishes articles on human-wildlife interactions, wildlife damage management, and human dimensions of wildlife. This year is its 10th anniversary.

American Bird Conservancy is the Western Hemisphere's bird conservation specialist—the only organization with a single and steadfast commitment to achieving conservation results for native birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. With a focus on efficiency and working in partnership, we take on the toughest problems facing birds today, innovating and building on sound science to halt extinctions, protect habitats, eliminate threats, and build capacity for bird conservation.