While wind energy is environmentally friendly, and prevents climate change, it has well-known impacts in terms of collision of raptors and other wildlife with wind turbine blades, leading often to a conflict. In this paper the authors focus in an area in Greece that has the only population of black (cinereous) vultures in south-eastern Europe and 13 existing and some more planned wind farms, most in the black vulture core area of occurrence. The authors used long-term telemetry data to produce a species-specific sensitivity map for guiding wind energy development and to estimate vulture collision mortality due to currently operating wind farms.
Mortality due to Collision was estimated as 5–11% of the population, sufficient to lead to population decline.
Combining spatial-use models derived from telemetry data with collision mortality models offers a novel conservation tool for evaluating large scale wind energy development proposals, and is a valuable tool to improve the quality of Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) studies and national Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for wind farms.
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Photo Bruno Berthémy
Black vultures & wind farm development Cinereous vultures (Aegypius monachus) a Adobe Acrobat Document 873.5 KB Download