Thursday, 18 December 2014


Wind farm are no-go territory for most  gannets

TO what extent are birds threatened by the proliferation of offshore wind farms?

The BTO has this month released preliminary findings of a survey it carried out in partnership with the University of Highlands and Islands' Environmental Research Institute

The review found that more than 99 per cent of seabirds were likely to alter their flight paths in order to avoid collision.

However, BTO research ecologist Aonghais Cook, who led the study said “It is important not to get lulled into a false sense of security by these figures. 

“Whilst most 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.”

The review indicated species-specific differences in the way in which seabirds respond to wind farms. 

A significant proportion of gannets will avoid even entering a wind farm, but  gulls are much less cautious and may even be attracted to the sites as a result of the foraging opportunities they offer. 

Despite this, once inside the wind farms even gulls seem to show a strong avoidance of the turbine blades. 

The work was carried out on behalf of Marine Scotland Science.

Photo credit: Mmo iwdg via Wikipedia Commons

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