What is GenEst?

To truly minimize risk to wildlife from renewable energy development, we need an accurate understanding of impacts. Fatality surveys and estimation is one metric used for understanding impacts. Fatality estimators have been employed to account for searcher bias and other factors, but not without their own flaws. Over the past decade several new estimators have been developed, each contributing some improvement over the previous ones but also causing confusion among practitioners regarding which estimator to use when, and how the estimators differ. With support from federal and private agencies, USGS statisticians brought together the developers of these different estimators to collaborate on a single accurate estimator of mortality and its associated uncertainty. GenEst software is an estimator that accommodates all assumptions which an easy to use tool that provides comparable results across projects to inform development and operational decisions and save users time and money.

GenEst is an open source R-package, available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, with both GUI and command line implementations and includes example datasets.

Dalthorp, D.H., Simonis, J., Madsen, L., Huso, M.M., Rabie, P., Mintz, J.M., Wolpert, R., Studyvin, J., Korner-Nievergelt, F., 2018, Generalized Mortality Estimator (GenEst) – R code & GUI: U.S. Geological Survey Software Release, link below.

Interested parties can access the software at https://doi.org/10.5066/P9O9BATL. Alternatively, an online version is available at WEST, Inc.’s Shiny.io service https://west-inc.shinyapps.io/GenEst/

Additional Resources

GenEst is a user-friendly software package that is run by R, which is readily available, free statistical software. A copy of the latest release of GenEst is available on CRAN, which provides a relatively simple pathway for installation. If you are used to working in R, you can install GenEst as you would with any other CRAN package. If you are not used to working in R, visit https://code.usgs.gov/ecosystems/GenEst/releases for instructions on installation and getting started using GenEst.

USGS GenEst webpage: https://www.usgs.gov/centers/fresc/science/a-generalized-estimator-estimating-bird-and-bat-mortality-renewable-energy

The NWCC and WREN (Working Together to Resolve Environmental Effects of Wind Energy) held a webinar on August 23,2018  “First Look at a New Generalized Fatality Estimator GenEst”. Presenter: Manuela Huso, U.S. Geological Survey

View Webinar Recording & Presentation Here