Monitoring the operation of WT in woodland – impacts on the avifauna

Project title: Optimising planning and approval procedures for wind turbines in woodland taking account of nature conservation interests


  • Adverse effects on woodland bird species from wind energy in terms of displacement effects
  • Testing and optimising the recording method using automated acoustic recording of woodland bird species


Escherweg 1
26121 Oldenburg
Dr. Marc Reichenbach
Tel.: +49 441 9717 493



FKZ 3517 86 0400
Department research plan 2017
Term: 12.12.2017 – 31.12.2020


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.


Work packages

Work packages

  1. Determining, updating and integrating the current state of knowledge on the specific effect on birds of wind turbines in woodland,
  2. Testing and optimising the technology for acoustic recording and the other methodology in the first study year,
  3. Carrying out and evaluating two years of field studies at ten existing wind farms,
  4. Developing nature conservation guidelines for action for bird species sensitive to disturbance for the planning and construction of wind turbines in woodland,
  5. Developing a research concept for the future research needs, particularly for the European nightjar and common buzzard.

Project partners

Project partners

Project management

Escherweg 1
26121 Oldenburg
Dr. Marc Reichenbach
Tel.: +49 441 9717 493

Project partners

OekoFor GbR
Kartäuserstr. 39a, D-79102 Freiburg
Dr. Hendrik Reers

juwi Energieprojekte GmbH
Energie Allee 1
55286 Wörrstadt
Katrin Frenzel

Funding authority

Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)
Alte Messe 6, 04103 Leipzig
FG II 4.3 Nature conservation and renewable energies
Asja Weber
Tel.: +49 341 30977 174

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