An online mapping resource developed by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the American Wind Wildlife Institute (AWWI) to support wind energy project developers includes critical habitat information for more than 225 endangered species.
AWWI’s Landscape Assessment Tool is a wind-wildlife geographic planning software application that helps wind investors screen and assess locations for possible wildlife and habitat impacts early in the planning process.
A recent update displays detailed critical habitat overlays for 255 endangered or threatened plants, insects, mammals, fish, birds, amphibians and reptiles.
Critical habitats are those considered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to be "necessary to the survival or recovery of an endangered or threatened species."
"The tool provides cost-effective, early guidance regarding sensitive wildlife areas and areas likely to have low wildlife risk," says Stuart Webster, director of Permitting and Environmental with Iberdrola Renewables, one of the wind energy Partners of AWWI, and Chair of AWWI?s LAT Committee. "The data management functions of the LAT also provide the user with direct links to owners of data layers for additional coordination when making siting decisions."
Basic information in the tool is publicly available. AWWI is also developing a wind-wildlife research development database that will provide even more information that can be used for risk analysis of wind development projects.
Wind developers can also use a tool developed by the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) which shows the energy generation potential of various sites being considered.
To access the wind-site mapping tool: