Project title: Implementing nature conservation research at the land-based wind test site


  • Mitigation measures for birds and bats
  • Analysing movement and meteorological data
  • Automated bird species recording


Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW)
Energy economy systems analysis
Meitnerstr. 1, 70563 Stuttgart
Dr. Frank Musiol
Tel.: +49 711 7870-217



FKZ 3518 86 0100
Departmental research plan 2018
Term: 15.11.2018 – 31.10.2021

The wind energy research cluster south (WindForS) will be commissioned in 2020 in the Swabian Jura (Germany) as the first wind energy test site in complex terrain in an inland area. The WINSENT test site will also be available for use for nature conservation research, with a focus on studies of birds and bats. Even before being commissioned, the test site will be used for initial research which does not depend on the wind turbines, and use will be made of the wind met masts which have already been erected with their extensive measuring equipment.

The project has the central goal of using the wind energy test site both to develop and test mitigation measures for birds and bats and also to close gaps in knowledge about the behaviour of animals at wind turbines. Suitable research designs that use the special features of the test site (two research wind turbines, four met masts of equal height, both in front of and behind the turbines, extensive measuring equipment) were developed as part of the previous project (NatForWINSENT) and agreed by experts. Important components of this design will now be implemented as part of this project. Particular emphasis is placed on measures to protect raptors sensitive to wind turbines and which are potentially threatened by wind energy utilisation. This applies to species like the red kite that occurs in the research area.


In 2019 at least five red kites will be fitted with GPS transmitters. Their movements will then be continuously monitored and evaluated. Parallel to this a radar device will be installed that continuously monitors the airspace of the test site for bird movements. By using a combination of the movement data with the comprehensive meteorological data collected at the test site such as wind speed, temperature, visibility, etc. and also the optical recording of land use activities, correlations of bird activity with these parameters can be studied. One question that should be followed up, for example, is whether the project will yield indications for the development of switch-off algorithms in relation to meteorological data.

A test design that can be implemented at the test site will also be developed for the large number of technical prevention systems which are now being discussed or are already on the market, and are based on detecting the presence of birds. The aim of the test is to define the most general requirements of such systems. Parallel to this, in a sub-project (BirdRecorder), work will be carried out on developing and testing a system for the automated species-specific recording of bird species sensitive to wind power.

Bat activity will also be continuously acoustically recorded at all four measurement masts and later at the wind turbines at four different heights and combined with the meteorological data to study any possible further development of switch-off algorithms.

A stereo thermal imagining camera will be developed to record flight movements in three dimensions. The conceptual design of a specified detection system will be undertaken maximise automation in recording collision victims (bats and birds). An automated recording of insect abundance at various heights will also be designed using insect camera traps.

Project partners

Project partners

Project management

Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW)
Energy economy systems analysis
Meitnerstr. 1, 70563 Stuttgart
Dr. Frank Musiol
Tel.: +49 711 7870-217

Project partners

Swiss Ornithological Institute
Seerose 1
CH-6204 Sempach
Dr. Janine Aschwanden

Freiburger Institut für Angewandte Tierökologie GmbH (FrInaT)
Dunantstr. 9
79110 Freiburg
Dr. Robert Brinkmann

Private Universität für Gesundheitswissenschaften, Medizinische Informatik und Technik GmbH (UMIT)
Institut für Mess- und Sensortechnik
Eduard Wallnöfer-Zentrum 1
A-6060 Hall in Tirol, Austria
Dipl.-Ing. Klaus Hochradel

OekoFor GbR
Vordere Poche 11
79104 Freiburg
Dr. Hendrik Reers

Fachbüro für ökologische Planungen
Schubartstr. 12
73092 Heiningen
Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Wolfgang Lissak

bio-scouting Thomas Klingseis
Riedstr. 46
72070 Tübingen
Dipl.-Biol. Thomas Klingseis

Dr. Herbert Stark

Funding authority

Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)
Alte Messe 6, 04103 Leipzig
FG II 4.3 Nature conservation and renewable energies
Jens Ponitka

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