Skip to main content

Impacts of On-shore Wind Farms in Wildlife Communities: Direct Fatalities and Indirect Impacts (Behavioural and Habitat Effects)

  • Chapter
  • First Online:
Biodiversity and Wind Farms in Portugal

Abstract

In addition to its immense environmental benefits, the great expansion of wind energy generates simultaneous concerns about its adverse impacts. The impacts have been identified for human populations, landscape and wildlife, but, due to direct fatality, birds and bats are the groups for which scientists are most concerned. Due to renewable energy goals, Portugal has witnessed a great development of wind energy in recent years, with a substantial part of its mountainous areas occupied by on-shore wind turbines. In this chapter we present a literature review on the major impacts that wind energy has on birds and bats, but also in terrestrial mammals, because of the evidence of disturbance and/or displacement of more sensitive species, mostly during the operation phase. Despite there are few published data, we focus the research on Portuguese examples. Some considerations of evaluation of the impacts and cumulative impacts are also made.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Chapter
USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
eBook
USD 84.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 109.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book
USD 109.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • Álvares, F., Rio-Maior, H., Roque, S., Nakamura, M., Petrucci-Fonseca, F. (2017). Ecological response of breeding wolves to wind farms: Insights from two case studies in Portugal. In M. R. Perrow (Ed.), Wildlife and wind farms: Conflicts and solutions (Vol. 1: Onshore. -Vol. 1: Onshore: 432, pp. 225–227). Pelagic Publishing.

    Google Scholar 

  • APA. (2009). Guia para a Avaliação de Impactes Ambientais de Parques Eólicos.

    Google Scholar 

  • APA. (2011). Guia Metodológico para Avaliação de Impacte Ambiental de Infra-estruturas da Rede Nacional de Transporte de Electricidade.

    Google Scholar 

  • Arvizu, D., Bruckner, T., Edenhofer, O., Estefen, S., Faaij, A., & Fischedick, M. (2011). IPCC special report on renewable energy sources and climate change mitigation. by O. Edenhofer et al. Cambridge University Press. Chap. Technical Summary, 34–212.

    Google Scholar 

  • Atienza, J.C., Martín Fierro I., Infante, O., Valls, J., & Dominguez, J. (2011). Directrices para la evaluación del impacto de los parques eólicos en aves y urciélagos (versión 3.0). SEO/BirdLife, Madrid.

    Google Scholar 

  • Baerwald, E. F., & Barclay, R. M. (2011). Patterns of activity and fatality of migratory bats at a wind energy facility in Alberta, Canada. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 75(5), 1103–1114.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Baerwald, E. F., D’Amours, G. H., Klug, B. J., & Barclay, R. M. (2008). Barotrauma is a significant cause of bat fatalities at wind turbines. Current Biology, 18(16), R695–R696.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Bernardino, J., Zina, H., Passos, I., Costa, H., Fonseca, C., Pereira, M. J., et al. (2012). Bird and Bat mortality at Portuguese wind farms. In IAIA12 Conference Proceedings’ Energy Future The Role of Impact Assessment. 32nd Annual Meeting of the International Association for Impact Assessment 27 May–1 June 2012, Centro de Congresso da Alfândega, Porto–Portugal.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bourillon, C. (1999). Wind energy—clean power for generations. Renewable Energy 161–4 , Jan, 1999: 948–953.

    Google Scholar 

  • Canter (1996). Environmental impact assessment (2nd edn). McGraw-Hill, New York.

    Google Scholar 

  • Chang, T., Nielsen, E., Auberle, W., & Solop, F. I. (2013). A quantitative method to analyze the quality of EIA information in wind energy development and avian/bat assessments. Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 38,142–150.

    Google Scholar 

  • COE. (2000). European landscape convention. European landscape convention and reference documents (pp. 5–20).

    Google Scholar 

  • Cordeiro, A., Bernardino, J., Mascarenhas, M., & Costa, H. (2012). Long term survey of wind farms impacts on Common Kestrel’s populations and definition of an appropriate mitigation plan. In NWCC Wind Wildlife Research Meeting IX. 27 a 30 de novembro de. (2012). Denver. EUA: Colorado.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cordeiro, A., Mesquita, S., Marques, A. T., Silva, M. J., Rodrigues, N., Zina, H., et al. (2010). Avaliação de impactes na componente biológica em parques eólicos: impactes previstos vs impactes reais [Evaluation of impacts on the biological component in wind farms: Expected impacts vs real impacts]. CNAI 2010. 20–22 October, Vila Real, Portugal.

    Google Scholar 

  • Correia, R., Faneca, C., Albuquerque, D., Vieira, J., Bastos, C., Pereira, M. J., et al. (2014). Characterization of the Ultrasonic Acoustic Field of a Wind Turbine. In Conferencias y Comunicaciones del 45º Congreso Español de Acústica, 8º Congreso Ibérico de Acústica y Simposio Europeo de Ciudades Inteligentes y Acústica Ambiental. Murcia. España. 29–31 October.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cryan, P. M., & Barclay, R. M. (2009). Causes of bat fatalities at wind turbines: Hypotheses and predictions. Journal of Mammalogy, 90(6), 1330–1340.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cryan, P. M., Gorresen, P. M., Hein, C. D., Schirmacher, M. R., Diehl, R. H., Huso, M. M., et al. (2014). Behavior of bats at wind turbines. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(42), 15126–15131.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Dai, K., Bergot, A., Liang, C., Xiang, W. N., & Huang, Z. (2015). Environmental issues associated with wind energy–A review. Renewable Energy, 75, 911–921.

    Google Scholar 

  • Desholm, M., & Kahlert, J. (2005). Avian collision risk at an offshore wind farm. Biology letters, 1(3), 296–298.

    Google Scholar 

  • De Lucas, M. M., Janss, G. F. E., Whitfield, D. P., & Ferrer, M. (2008). Collision fatality of raptors in wind farms does not the condor: Ornithological applications 118, 411–423. Q2016 Cooper Ornithological Society, Smith, J. A., & Dwyer, J. F. Energy infrastructure and birds 419 depend on raptor abundance. Journal of Applied Ecology, 45, 1695–1703.

    Google Scholar 

  • DGEG. (2016a). Energia em Portugal—2014 [Energy in Portugal—2014]. Direção-Geral de Energia e Geologia [Directorate-General for Energy and Geology of the Ministry of Economy]. Available from http://www.apren.pt/fotos/newsletter/conteudos/energia_em_portugal_2014_dgeg_1459441498.pdf (in Portuguese).

  • DGEG. (2016b). Renováveis—Estatísticas Rápidas—n  145—novembro de 2016 [Renewables—Fast Statistics—nº 145—November 2016]. Direção-Geral de Energia e Geologia [Directorate-General for Energy and Geology of the Ministry of Economy]. Available from http://www.apren.pt/fotos/newsletter/conteudos/estatisticas_rapidas-renovaveis_novembro_2016_dgeg_1486118674.pdf (in Portuguese).

  • Drewitt, A. L., & Langston, R. H. (2006). Assessing the impacts of wind farms on birds. Ibis, 148(s1), 29–42.

    Google Scholar 

  • Eggermann, J., da Costa, G. F., Guerra, A. M., Kirchner, W. H., & Petrucci-Fonseca, F. (2011). Presence of Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus) in relation to land cover, livestock and human influence in Portugal. Mammalian Biology-Zeitschrift Für Säugetierkunde, 76(2), 217–221.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • EUROBATS. (2016). Report of the IWG on Wind Turbines and Bat Populations. 21st Meeting of the Advisory Committee. Zandvoort, Netherlands, 18—20 April 2016.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fox, A. D., Desholm, M., Kahlert, J., Christensen, T. K., & Krag Petersen, I. B. (2006). Information needs to support environmental impact assessment of the effects of European marine offshore wind farms on birds. Ibis, 148(s1), 129–144.

    Google Scholar 

  • Helldin, J. O., Jung, J., Neumann, W., Olsson, M., Skarin, A., & Widemo, F. (2012). The impacts of wind power on terrestrial mammals. Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (Report 6510). Stockholm, Sweden.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hull, C. L., Stark, E. M., Peruzzo, S., & Sims, C. C. (2013). Avian collisions at two wind farms in Tasmania, Australia: Taxonomic and ecological characteristics of colliders versus noncolliders. New Zealand Journal of Zoology, 40, 47–62.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • INEGI. (2010). Parques Eólicos em Portugal. Dezembro de 2010. p. 28.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jay S. (2007). Customers as decision-makers: Strategic environmental assessment in the private sector. Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, 25(2), 75–84.

    Google Scholar 

  • Knopper, L. D., & Ollson, C. A. (2011). Health effects and wind turbines: A review of the literature. Environmental Health, 10(78).

    Google Scholar 

  • Kowallik, C., & Borbach-Jaene, J. (2001). Impact of wind turbines on field utilization geese in coastal areas in NW Germany. Vogelkundliche Berichte aus Niedersachsen, 33, 97–102.

    Google Scholar 

  • Morgan R. K. (2012). Environmental impact assessment: The state of the art. Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, 30(1), 5–14. doi:10.1080/14615517.2012.661557

  • Larsen, J. K., & Madsen, J. (2000). Effects of wind turbines and other physical elements on field utilization by pink-footed geese (Anser brachyrhynchus): A landscape perspective. Landscape Ecology, 15, 755–764.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Leddy, K. L., Higgins, K. F., & Naugle, D. E. (1999). Effects of wind turbines on upland nesting birds in conservation reserve program grasslands. Wilson Bulletin, 111, 100–104.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ledec, G. C., Rapp, K. W., & Aiello, R. G. (2011). Greening the wind: environmental and social considerations for wind power development (pp. 151). World Bank.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lindeboom, H. J., Kouwenhoven, H. J., Bergman, M. J. N., Bouma, S., Brasseur, S. M. J. M., Daan, R., et al. (2011). Short-term ecological effects of an offshore wind farm in the Dutch coastal zone; a compilation. Environmental Research Letters, 6(3), 035101.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Loss, S. R., Will, T., & Marra, P. P. (2013). Estimates of bird collision mortality at wind facilities in the contiguous United States. Biological Conservation, 168, 201–209.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Marques, A. T., Batalha, H., Rodrigues, S., Costa, H., Pereira, M. J. R., Fonseca, C., et al. (2014). Understanding bird collisions at wind farms: An updated review on the causes and possible mitigation strategies. Biological Conservation, 179, 40–52.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Marques, A. T., Paula, J., Pereira, M. J. R., Ramalho, R., & Rodrigues, S. (2015). Assessing the problem. In M. Mascarenhas, J. Bernardino, A. Paula, H. Costa, C. Bastos, A. Cordeiro, A. T. Marques, J. Marques, S. Mesquita, J. Paula, M. J. Pereira, P. Pereira, F. Peste, R. Ramalho, S. Rodrigues, J. Santos, J. Vieira, & C. Fonseca (Eds.), Biodiversity & wind energy: A bird’s and bat’s perspective (pp. 30–51). Aveiro, Portugal: Bio3 and University of Aveiro.

    Google Scholar 

  • Martin, G. R. (2011). Understanding bird collisions with manmade objects: a sensory ecology approach. Ibis, 153, 239–254.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Martin, G. R., Portugal, S. J., & Murn, C. P. (2012). Visual fields, foraging and collision vulnerability in Gyps vultures. Ibis, 154, 626–631.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Masden, E. A., Haydon, D. T., Fox, A. D., Furness, R. W., Bullman, R., & Desholm, M. (2009). Barriers to movement: Impacts of wind farms on migrating birds. ICES Journal of Marine Science: Journal du Conseil, 66(4), 746–753.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Paula, A., Marques, J., Pereira, P.S. & Santos, J. (2015). Chapter 4 - Mitigation: A Hierarchy of Solutions In Mascarenhas, M., Bernardino, J., Paula, A., Costa, H., Bastos, C., Cordeiro, A., Marques, A.T., Marques, J., Mesquita, S., Paula, J., Pereira, P.S., Peste, F., Ramalho, R., Rodrigues, S., Santos, J., Vieira, J. & Fonseca, C. (2015). Biodiversity & wind energy: A bird’s and bat’s perspective, Bio3 and Univerity of Aveiro. Aveiro, Portugal.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pearce-Higgins, J. W., Stephen, L., Langston, R. H., Bainbridge, I. P., & Bullman, R. (2009). The distribution of breeding birds around upland wind farms. Journal of Applied Ecology, 46(6), 1323–1331.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pimenta, V., Barroso, I., Álvares, F., Correia, J., Ferrão da Costa, G., Moreira, L., et al. (2005). Situação populacional do lobo em Portugal: resultados do censo nacional 2002/2003 (p. 158). Instituto de Conservação da Natureza/Grupo Lobo, Lisboa: Relatório Técnico.

    Google Scholar 

  • Piorkowski, M. D., & O’Connell, T. J. (2010). Spatial pattern of summer bat mortality from collisions with wind turbines in mixed-grass prairie. The American Midland Naturalist, 164(2), 260–269.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Piper J.M. (2001). “Barriers to implementation of cumulative effects assessment.” Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management, 3(4), 465–481.

    Google Scholar 

  • REN21. (2016)—Renewables 2016 Global Status Report (Paris: REN21 Secretariat). ISBN 978-3-9818107-0-7.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rollins, K. E., Meyerholz, D. K., Johnson, G. D., Capparella, A. P., & Loew, S. S. (2012). A forensic investigation into the etiology of bat mortality at a wind farm: Barotrauma or traumatic injury? Veterinary Pathology Online, 49(2), 362–371.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Rodrigues, L., Bach, L., Dubourg-Savage, M.-J., Karapandža, B., Kovač, D., Kervyn, T., Dekker, J., Kepel, A., Bach, P., Collins, J., Harbusch, C., Park, K., Micevski, B., & Minderman, J. (2015). Guidelines for consideration of bats in wind farm projects—Revision 2014. EUROBATS Publication Series N. 6 (English version). UNEP/EUROBATS Secretariat (pp. 133). Bonn, Germany.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rydell, J., Engström, H., Hedenström, A., Kyed Larsen, J., Pettersson, J., & Green, M. (2012). The effect of wind power on birds and bats – A synthesis. Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (pp. 150).

    Google Scholar 

  • Ryberg, J. B., Bluhm, G., Bolin, K., Boden, B., Ek. C., Hammarlund, K., Henningsson, M., Hannukka, I., Johansson, C., Mels,S., Mels, T., Nilsson, M., Skarback, E., Soderholm, P., Waldo, A., Widerstrom, I., & Akerma, N. (2013). The effects of wind power on human interests. Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, Report 6545, January 2013.

    Google Scholar 

  • Schuster, E., Bulling, L., & Köppel, J. (2015). Consolidating the state of knowledge: A synoptical review of wind energy’s wildlife effects. Environmental Management, 56(2), 300–331.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Smith, J. A., & Dwyer, J. F. (2016). Avian interactions with renewable energy infrastructure: An update. The Condor, 118(2), 411–423.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sovacool, B. K. (2009). Contextualizing avian mortality: A preliminary appraisal of bird and bat fatalities from wind, fossil-fuel, and nuclear electricity. Energy Policy, 37(6), 2241–2248.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Thelander, C. G., Smallwood, K. S., & Rugge, L. (2003). Bird Risk Behaviors and Fatalities at the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area: Period of Performance, March 1998--December 2000 (No. NREL/SR-500-33829). National Renewable Energy Lab., Golden, CO.(US).

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Sílvia Mesquita .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2018 Springer International Publishing AG

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Pereira, P., Salgueiro, N., Mesquita, S. (2018). Impacts of On-shore Wind Farms in Wildlife Communities: Direct Fatalities and Indirect Impacts (Behavioural and Habitat Effects). In: Mascarenhas, M., Marques, A., Ramalho, R., Santos, D., Bernardino, J., Fonseca, C. (eds) Biodiversity and Wind Farms in Portugal. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-60351-3_2

Download citation

Publish with us

Policies and ethics