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Insect attraction to wind turbines: does colour play a role?


The phenomenon of wildlife mortality at wind turbine installations has been generating increasing concern, both for the continued development of the wind industry and for local ecology. While an increase in aerial insectivore activity in the vicinity resulting from insect attraction to turbines remains a strong possibility, little research exists on the possible causes for such events. In this paper, the relative attraction of a selection of specific turbine colours and other hues is assessed in order to determine if turbine paint colour could be influencing insect numbers at these installations. The common turbine colours ‘pure white’ (RAL 9010) and ‘light grey’ (RAL 7035) were among those found to attract significantly more insects than other colours tested, suggesting colour may well have a role to play in potential mitigation.

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The authors would like to thank Brocks Hill Environment Centre and Oadby and Wigston Borough Council for granting permission to use the study area. We are also grateful to Dr. S. Williams-Worrall of the Department of Chemistry, Loughborough University, for assistance with spectrometer measurements.

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Correspondence to C. V. Long.

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Communicated by C. Gortázar

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Long, C.V., Flint, J.A. & Lepper, P.A. Insect attraction to wind turbines: does colour play a role?. Eur J Wildl Res 57, 323–331 (2011).

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