Mammalian mesocarnivore visitation at tortoise burrows in a wind farm

Journal of Wildlife Management
By: , and 



There is little information on predator–prey interactions in wind energy landscapes in North America, especially among terrestrial vertebrates. Here, we evaluated how proximity to roads and wind turbines affect mesocarnivore visitation with desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) and their burrows in a wind energy landscape. In 2013, we placed motion-sensor cameras facing the entrances of 46 active desert tortoise burrows in a 5.2-km2 wind energy facility near Palm Springs, California, USA. Cameras recorded images of 35 species of reptiles, mammals, and birds. Counts for 4 species of mesocarnivores at desert tortoise burrows increased closer to dirt roads, and decreased closer to wind turbines. Our results suggest that anthropogenic infrastructure associated with wind energy facilities could influence the general behavior of mammalian predators and their prey. Further investigation of proximate mechanisms that underlie road and wind turbine effects (i.e., ground vibrations, sound emission, and traffic volume) and on wind energy facility spatial designs (i.e., road and wind turbine configuration) could prove useful for better understanding wildlife responses to wind energy development. © 2017 The Wildlife Society.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Mammalian mesocarnivore visitation at tortoise burrows in a wind farm
Series title Journal of Wildlife Management
DOI 10.1002/jwmg.21262
Volume 81
Issue 6
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher Wiley
Contributing office(s) Southwest Biological Science Center
Description 8 p.
First page 1117
Last page 1124
Country United States
State California
City Palm Springs
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