In this first webinar of an ongoing AWWI series on renewable energy and wildlife topics, AWWI Technical Report authors from WEST and USGS present on a study that compared the performance of GenEst statistical mortality estimator to the two estimators most often used in North America, the Huso and Shoenfeld estimators.
Wind energy developers commonly assess collision mortality of birds and bats at wind facilities by conducting post-construction monitoring (PCM) studies. However, it is difficult to detect every instance of a bird or bat fatality and, therefore, accurately estimate mortality. Mortality estimators use the results of "bias trials" (field studies that estimate the correction needed for sources of detection error) to calculate probability that a carcass will be detected and combine these with observed counts to ultimately get an estimate of total mortality. This study compared the performance of GenEst, the newest mortality estimator, to the Huso and Shoenfeld estimators, by simulating mortality and search conditions that might occur in in the field and evaluating each estimator’s ability to accurately estimate a known carcass count. The study showed that GenEst consistently outperformed the other estimators on the metrics that were compared.