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Draft Habitat Conservation Plan for
Midwest Wind Energy Promotes Coordinated
Industry Engagement in Conservation of At-Risk Species
April 14, 2016
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) today released a draft plan to help ensure wind development does not contribute to the decline of species that already are impacted by threats such as disease and loss of habitat. The Draft Midwest Wind Energy Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) outlines measures for participating Midwest wind energy companies to follow to help reduce the nation’s carbon emissions and further sustainable energy independence while ensuring those efforts contribute to conserving protected bat and bird species.
The plan enables the Service to monitor and reduce “incidental take” of protected species caused by wind energy development and operation within an eight-state plan area, which includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin. Species covered by the plan include the Indiana, northern long-eared and little brown bats, as well as Kirtland’s warbler, interior least tern, bald eagle, and the Great Lakes and Great Plains populations of the piping plover.
First Great Lakes Piping Plover Spotted Wintering in Cuba
March 15, 2016
For the first time ever, a rare Great Lakes piping plover has been spotted spending the winter in Cuba. Typically Great Lakes piping plovers winter in tidal inlets along the coasts of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, though a handful have been reported wintering in the Bahamas and also for the first time ever, in Cancun, Mexico, this winter.
Great Lakes piping plovers are one of the most endangered species in the region, numbering 75 pairs in 2015. While this is still critically endangered, conservation efforts by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and other conservation partners have helped this unique population of piping plovers recover from only about15 pairs at the time they were added to the federal endangered species list in 1986.
Protections Finalized for Threatened
Northern Long-Eared Bats
Regulations focus on significant threats to the species so