, Volume 19, Issue 13, pp 3757-3767

Potential impact of wind farms on territories of large eagles in southeastern Spain

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Abstract

Although wind farms in Spain have increased in numbers in recent years, their impact on birds, particularly large raptors, has received relatively little attention in the scientific literature. We study the potential impact of 72 wind energy developments planned for the south-east of Spain covering 128 golden eagle and 152 Bonelli’s eagle territories using nearest neighbour distances (NND) as an indicator of potential future interactions (abandonment, displacement and collision risk). Our analyses indicate low levels of potential interactions between wind farms and large eagles, and suggest that, of the two species studied, golden eagles will be the more affected because a greater proportion of wind farms will be constructed close to the breeding territories of this species. In the light of these findings, we discuss various management strategies in order to improve the compatibility of harvesting wind energy with the conservation of both species.