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Presenters for technical presentations are either the primary author (the first name listed in the abstract), or are indicated with an asterisk next to their name. 

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Monday, February 6 • 1:20pm - 1:40pm
Technical Session. Greater Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus) Boom Chorus Propagation Along a Nebraska Sandhills Wind Energy-Grassland Gradient

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AUTHORS: Edward J. Raynor, Cara E. Whalen, Mary Bomberger-Brown, Larkin A. Powell - School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

ABSTRACT: The effects of anthropogenic sounds on grassland birds can be determined using spatially- and temporally-explicit recordings of sounds along a noise gradient. This information allows us to demonstrate how sound sources, such as wind turbines, create noise footprints across relatively-intact grassland landscapes. To assess the ability of lekking male Greater Prairie-Chickens in the Nebraska Sandhills to propagate their boom vocalization across a noise gradient leading from a wind farm to 24 km away, we employed a sound propagation model that accounts for spatially-explicit abiotic and biotic properties of the grassland landscape. Results of our analysis provide information about the potential effects of wind energy development on prairie-chickens’ ability to propagate sound across grassland landscapes. We found that late season (late May-early June) boom propagation did not exceed ambient or background sound levels when leks were located within the wind farm. This result suggests that late season boom propagation is not as effective as early-to-mid season boom propagation when leks are located within wind farms. Further, our results provide insight for temporal efficacy of lek survey efforts across the Greater-Prairie-Chicken lekking season.

Monday February 6, 2017 1:20pm - 1:40pm CST
Grand Ballroom B