ASSESSMENT OF POTENTIAL THREATS OF WIND FARMS FOR MIGRATORY BIRDS IN THE SOUTH OF UKRAINE

P. I. Gorlov, V. D. Siokhin, A. V. Matsyura

Abstract


The article presents data on the species diversity, the number of birds, directions and altitudes of flight during the periods of seasonal migrations based on studies of 13 wind farms in the Ukrainian Azov-Black Sea region. In total 194 expedition field trips have been performed for 549 days. There are 3 wind farms in the Black Sea basin, 7 in the Sivash-Dzharylgach basin and 3 in the Azov basin. We registered 100 bird species, but they use the territory of wind farms in different ways: they always present, periodically fly or do not fly to the wind farm. A large number of wetlands located in the Azov-Black Sea region attract waterfowl bird species that dominated (79.8% of the total number in spring and 68.7% in autumn). The analysis of the birds stay at the wind farm sites shows that there were registered not more than 25% of the total number of birds recorded in the study area. The main flight directions were north-east in spring (23.7% of all flights) and south-west in autumn (29.6%). Flying birds were registered at different altitudes, but 89.5% of birds flew in the range up to 50 m above the ground in spring and 79.1% – in autumn. The threats of wind farms on birds was evaluated by integrated management assessment tolls. It was found that just few of birds (about of 1 percent) could fly at dangerous altitudes (45-155 m) over the wind farm areas and cross the wind farm barrier. This wind turbines’ impact on the birds was considered as rather insignificant. The bird deaths caused by collisions with the wind turbines were not registered.


Keywords


bird migration; wind farms; impact assessment.

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References


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

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15421/201685

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