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Title: Herps in the wind: the ecology of herpetofauna in windfarms
Authors: Trowbridge, Cory
Keywords: Conservation;spatial ecology;bioacoustics;diversity;acoustic masking;amphibians;turtles;wind energy
Issue Date: 2-Jun-2020
Abstract: Windfarms are reducing reliance on fossil fuels but they may present threats to wildlife. I studied the ecology of herpetofauna living in Prince Windfarm (Sault Ste Marie, Ontario) in 4 wetlands located close to wind turbines (<500 m, Turbine sites), and 4 wetlands far from wind turbines (>1.5 km, Control sites). I measured amphibian biodiversity using transect surveys and acoustic recordings of frog calls. I found lower biodiversity and richness within frog choruses in Turbine sites, and some evidence that frogs in windfarms adjust their calls similar to frogs near roads. I also investigated whether the spatial ecology of Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta) was impacted by the windfarm. Turtles within the windfarm had shorter movements and marginally smaller home ranges than turtles in Control sites, and appeared to avoid service roads and turbines. Future research should investigate acoustic masking of low frequency calling amphibians and infrastructure avoidance behaviours by turtles.
Appears in Collections:Biology - Master's Theses
Master's Theses

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