In the course of the energy transition, forests – habitats for woodpeckers, owls and other species of birds – are increasingly becoming sites for wind farms. Noises, movement or obscuration can have a disturbing impact on these woodland bird species and lead to avoidance of areas of woodland close to wind farms. Using automated acoustic recordings, this project researches whether wind farms lead to a change in use of the woodland habitat in selected bird species. An innovative technique will be tested in the first trial year and then used in the two following years at ten wind farm sites.
In the research project "Bau- und Betriebsmonitoring von Windenergieanlagen im Wald" (monitoring construction and operation of wind turbines in woodland) (Reichenbach et al. 2015), initial indications were found of possible negative effects from wind turbines on the woodpecker group of species, based on two years' research at a total of 12 wind farms using territory mapping. This project is intended to follow on from this and supply a significant increase in knowledge about disturbance and displacement effects in relation to particular woodland bird species. The results should contribute to optimising the planning and approval procedures for the affected species and help to minimise the risk of significant negative effects in terms of European species and site protection legislation as well as impact regulation.
The research is mainly carried out using automated acoustic recording that collects quantitative acoustic data over a larger area as part of a systematic impact gradient design, supplemented by territory mapping and a search for nesting sites. This innovative approach is based on our own technical development whose basic suitability had already been tested. As part of the project planned here, an initial trial and optimisation year will be used to expand this method and adapt it to the specific requirements of the study.
Dr. Marc Reichenbach
Tel.: +49 441 9717 493
Kartäuserstr. 39a, D-79102 Freiburg
Dr. Hendrik Reers
juwi Energieprojekte GmbH
Energie Allee 1
Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)
Alte Messe 6, 04103 Leipzig
FG II 4.3 Nature conservation and renewable energies
Tel.: +49 341 30977 174