• Evaluating potential effects of solar power facilities on wildlife from an animal behavior perspective

      Chock, Rachel Y.; Clucas, Barbara; Peterson, Elizabeth K.; Blackwell, Bradley F.; Blumstein, Daniel T.; Church, Kathleen; Fernández-Juricic, Esteban; Francescoli, Gabriel; Greggor, Alison L.; Kemp, Paul; et al. (2021)
      Solar power is a renewable energy source with great potential to help meet increasing global energy demands and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. However, research is scarce on how solar facilities affect wildlife. With input from professionals in ecology, conservation, and energy, we conducted a research-prioritization process and identified key questions needed to better understand impacts of solar facilities on wildlife. We focused on animal behavior, which can be used to identify population responses before mortality or other fitness consequences are documented. Behavioral studies can also offer approaches to understand the mechanisms leading to negative interactions (e.g., collision, singeing, avoidance) and provide insight into mitigating effects. Here, we review how behavioral responses to solar facilities, including perception, movement, habitat use, and interspecific interactions are priority research areas. Addressing these themes will lead to a more comprehensive understanding of the effects of solar power on wildlife and guide future mitigation.