Habitat modelling as a planning basis for species protection

Project title: Taking account of species' protection interests when constructing small wind turbines


  • Identification of the most important areas for the protection of bird species at risk of collision
  • Compilation of the latest occurrence data for the relevant species
  • Modelling with extensive site data on breeding occurrences


Dachverband Deutscher Avifaunisten (DDA) e.V.
Dr Jakob Katzenberger


FKZ 352 21 50900
National species Assistance Programme (nAHP)
Term: 01.05.2023 - 30.06.2024

Protection measures for bird species at risk of collision are of great importance for the environmentally compatible expansion of wind energy. By developing habitat models, the project creates an important planning basis for the effective implementation of species support programmes in suitable habitats. By identifying priority habitats for species protection, the project can also contribute to a more nature-friendly expansion of wind energy.

Project objectives

With the amendment of the Federal Nature Conservation Act in 2022, the implementation of national species support programmes (nAHP) was enshrined in law, particularly for species affected by the expansion of renewable energies. The nAHP is intended to promote projects for the long-term protection of species and their habitats as well as the improvement of their conservation status. Against the backdrop of the widespread expansion of onshore wind energy, breeding birds at risk of collision, such as the white-tailed eagle, Montagu's harrier and red kite, are key target species for increased conservation efforts. In order to effectively bundle regional conservation projects, the technical identification of particularly suitable areas for the implementation of measures is an important prerequisite. The aim of the project is therefore to develop comprehensive habitat models in order to map both small-scale habitat requirements and supra-regional distribution patterns of the relevant large bird species throughout Germany.


Extensive site data on breeding occurrences from the online portal https://www.ornitho.de/, which is operated by the DDA and its member organisations, as well as the data sets of the federal states are used for the model calculation. The local habitat characteristics are described using high-resolution environmental data, thus taking into account the influences of land cover and agricultural use, as well as climatic influences and weather conditions on species occurrence. The model results describe the most important distribution areas and potentially suitable development areas for the bird species considered in the project in Germany and are available for further analyses. A comparison with planning scenarios and the current state of development of wind turbines makes it possible to better assess potential impacts on the occurrence and habitat of the species concerned. To ensure that the results can be widely utilised, the methodological approach and the model calculation will be published in a specialist publication and the comprehensive model predictions will be made available online as a data basis.

Further Information

Project partners

Project partners

Project management

Dachverband Deutscher Avifaunisten (DDA) e.V.
Dr Jakob Katzenberger

Funding authority

Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)
Department II 1.1 Zoological species conservation
Dr Jasmina Stahmer


Print this page

Related News


Tender published for investigations into floating PV systems

The tender documents were published on the federal procurement platform on 27 March 2024. The submission deadline is 07.05.2024, 12:00h



Nature conservation impacts of floating PV systems

The final report on the first sub-project of a BfN research project on the ecological impact of floating PV systems has been published. However, as the results show, the effects of such systems on nature and the landscape have hardly been researched…



Empfehlung für bundesweite Signifikanzschwelle zum Schutz von Fledermäusen

Windenergieanlagen stellen eine Gefahr für Fledermäuse dar, sofern die Anlagen ohne Schutzvorkehrungen betrieben werden. Im freien Luftraum sind besonders jagende und ziehende Arten Kollisionsrisiken ausgesetzt. Hohe Ausbauziele bei…


Related Projects