United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Seabirds avoid offshore wind projects

UK: The vast majority of seabirds alter their flight paths in order to avoid collisions with offshore wind turbines, new research has shown.

Gannets are particularly likely to avoid offshore wind projects
Gannets are particularly likely to avoid offshore wind projects

The study by British Trust for Ornithology and the University of Highlands and Islands' found that 99% of birds were likely to avoid offshore wind sites.

Gannets were singled out as particularly adept at avoiding wind projects. While gulls were more likely to enter the sites, they still altered their paths to avoid the blades of the turbines.

However, the report also said that the effect of offshore projects on "some vulnerable species" is still unclear.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) gave a guarded welcomed to the report.

"Although there remain major uncertainties for some species, it provides good additional evidence that some seabirds will avoid wind turbines on most of their flights," said Aedán smith, head of planning and development.

"However, the small proportion of flights that result in collision could still result in many thousands of birds being killed each year and could even significantly reduce the total populations of some species. Impacts on seabirds must be reduced significantly if offshore wind is to realise its full potential of delivering much needed sustainable renewable energy," he added.

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