, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 395-407

The effects of a wind farm on birds in a migration point: the Strait of Gibraltar

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Abstract

The interaction between birds and wind turbines is an important factor to consider when a wind farm is constructed. A wind farm and two control areas were studied in Tarifa (Andalusia Province, southern Spain, 30STF590000–30STE610950). Variables were studied along linear transects in each area and observations of flight were also recorded from fixed points in the wind farm. The main purpose of our research was to determine the impact and the degree of flight behavioural change in birds flights resulting from a wind farm. Soaring birds can detect the presence of the turbines because they change their flight direction when they fly near the turbines and their abundance did not seem to be affected. This is also supported by the low amount of dead birds we found in the whole study period in the wind farm area. More studies will be necessary after and before the construction of wind farms to assess changes in passerine populations. Windfarms do not appear to be more detrimental to birds than other man-made structures.