Seabirds and windfarms, new research


This video from is called National Geographic Wild 2015: Saving Our Seabirds

From Birdwatch in Britain:

Seabirds steer to avoid turbines

Birdwatch news team

Posted on: 16 Dec 2014

A new study has suggested that the majority of seabird species are likely to alter their flight paths to avoid collisions with offshore windfarms. The research was carried out by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and the University of Highlands and Islands’ Environmental Research Institute on behalf of Marine Scotland Science.

The review found that more than 99 per cent of seabirds were likely to alter their flight paths in order to avoid collision. Also revealed were species-specific differences in the way in which seabirds respond to windfarms. A significant proportion of Northern Gannets will avoid even entering a windfarm, whereas gulls are much less cautious and may even be attracted to the sites as a result of the foraging opportunities they offer. Despite this, however, once inside the windfarms even gulls seem to show a strong avoidance of the turbine blades.

When planning offshore windfarms, it is necessary to have robust estimates of the number of birds likely to collide with turbines in order to help the decision-making process, and Aonghais Cook, Research Ecologist at the BTO, who led the study, commented: “It is important not to get lulled into a false sense of security by these figures. While 99 per cent of birds may avoid turbines, collision may still be a significant risk at sites with large numbers of birds. Furthermore, there are still a number of key gaps in knowledge for some vulnerable species.”

In response to this research, Aedán Smith, Head of Planning and Development at RSPB Scotland, said: “This is a very welcome and good-quality piece of work from the BTO. Although there remain major uncertainties for some species, it provides good additional evidence that some seabirds will avoid wind turbines on most of their flights.

“However, the small proportion of flights that result in collision could still mean many thousands of birds are killed each year and could even significantly reduce the total populations of some species. It is therefore vital that individual developments avoid the most important places for seabirds. Impacts on birds must be reduced significantly if offshore wind is to realise its full potential of delivering much-needed sustainable renewable energy.”

2 thoughts on “Seabirds and windfarms, new research

  1. Pingback: Huge offshore windfarm plan will affect Redcar, Cleveland and Middlesbrough - Gnoname's North East Councils' News

  2. Pingback: Very Inspiring Blogger Award, thank you nikkif181! | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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