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To understand better the impacts of wind power on birds and bats and how to minimize them, the Climate Investment Funds CIF have been bringing together representatives from CIF pilot countries governments, civil society, private sector, multilateral development banks MDBand other partners in a series of roundtable discussions and learning workshops to share experiences and innovations.
Although not an exhaustive list, contributors suggest guidance on:. It is important to apply a strategic approach early on in the planning process as wind power development generates impacts on the landscape scale.
Wind resources are also often relatively concentrated regionally making wind development well-suited for strategic assessments at the multi-project scale.
Strategic Environmental Assessments SEAwhich are assessment processes that go beyond project-level and aim to integrate environmental and social considerations into strategic decision-making, can help balance opportunities and constraints for wind energy development and identify favored and non-favored areas for development by:. Sensitivity mapping can give an indication of the likely sensitivity of avifauna to impacts of wind farms in a geographic area.
It does not replace the need for a site-specific Environmental Impact Assessment EIAbut sensitivity mapping can help developers pinpoint low-impact areas to build wind power projects. A sensitivity map will be enhanced through additional ornithological data and knowledge with regards to bird species present in a country and moving through a site.
A minimum of month pre-construction monitoring is the international standard following best practices wind turbines and birds a guidance document Australia, Canada, the EU, UK and USA to develop baseline data upon which strategic planning, impact assessment, and post-construction monitoring can be based.
Baseline monitoring should be completed before wind power projects are authorized. More data may also be needed in high-risk areas where there is some uncertainty as to the representativeness of data from a single month period.
Twelve month pre-construction surveys should cover all seasons to get an adequate representation of the activity at the project site level. They should be carried out by trained and qualified individuals, who have the appropriate knowledge and skills to undertake the task. Site-level Environmental Impact Assessments EIAs should include special assessment of risk to birds and bats at the site and be based on pre-construction monitoring and anticipated level of risk, ideally using regional or local sensitivity mapping.
EIAs evaluate the likely ecological significance of impacts associated with proposed wind farms, including the risks posed to birds, and should identify potential measures to avoid or reduce risks, or as a last resort, to compensate for risks or actual damages.
A buffer zone around the actual site should also be included as part of the assessment. EIAs must be more than a formality and must be based on site-specific information. Standardized but flexible guidelines for identifying potential impacts, scope, and duration of field studies, etc. Incorporating public consultations into the EIA process can build trust and be instrumental in collecting valuable local information on critical species and ecosystem processes that may not be apparent or accessible to field study teams.
Consultation with local experts and international organizations can also provide additional information on migrating and resident birds, and on sensitive areas. Some bird species are more vulnerable to the negative impacts of wind turbines. Species likely to have a high risk to vulnerability are soaring birds, raptors particularly vultures and eaglesseabirds, migratory species wind turbines and birds a guidance document birds with aerial flight displays. Many of the high risk species are also long-lived, with low natural mortality and reproductive rates, meaning they are particularly vulnerable at a population level and the additional stress of mortality from wind turbines is likely to be more significant on certain populations.
Examples of high-concentration areas include wetlands, designated wildlife refuges, staging areas, rookeries, bat hibernation areas, roosts, ridges, river valleys, and riparian areas, vulture colonies and raptor eyries. All power lines connecting turbines within a wind farm development should be buried. Overhead power lines connecting a wind farm with the grid should be made more visible to flying birds by using bird flight diverters or "flappers," thicker ground wires, or other appropriate means.
This is especially important in river gorges and other areas favored by large birds. Routing and line layout is the best wind turbines and birds a guidance document to avoid impacts on birds and bats.
Power lines should avoid key areas wind turbines and birds a guidance document birds and bats, including migratory flyways and bottlenecks, shore lines, and wetlands. Power lines should run parallel to landscape features where possible. Developers should design power pylons and poles to help prevent bird wind turbines and birds a guidance document that occur when a large bird perches on a pylon and simultaneously touches two electrified components, or one electrified and one grounded component.
Retrofitting of existing lines is also important especially in areas that have been identified as responsible for high mortality.
Routine assessment must consider the wind turbines and birds a guidance document impact on birds and bats. To reduce bird collisions, avoid using lattice towers, which can be used for perching. Measures to minimize fatal bird collisions with the guy wires of masts wind measurement towers include:.
Small turbines with high-speed rotors should be avoided in sensitive areas. In some wind farms, turbines blades are painted to increase their visibility, although little research has been done wind turbines and birds a guidance document demonstrate that colors or patterns significantly reduce bird collision with wind turbines.
On overcast or foggy nights, night lights can attract migrating birds, thereby increasing collisions with wind turbines or other structures. Measures to minimize this risk include:. Any such lighting fixtures should be hooded and directed downward to minimize the skyward and horizontal illumination that could attract night-flying birds and bats to the vicinity of wind turbines.
An appropriate EIA should inform micro-siting and the layout of the development. Layout and design are site specific and informed by local conditions and the bird and faunal species resident and migrating through the area. Turbines, access roads, and other project facilities, including equipment staging areas during construction, should not be situated in or around fragile areas identified in the EIA. Wind turbines should be situated the maximum feasible distance, at least 2 km, from natural or man-made landscape features that serve to concentrate bird or bat activity, including coastal lagoons and other wetlands, watered green spaces or other oases, rubbish dumps, sewage treatment facilities, etc.
Maintain open corridors that align with main migratory flight directions more than 1 km between wind farms. Turbine layout should run parallel to features such as wind turbines and birds a guidance document or rivers, as well as flight paths. There should be a set back from cliff edges and ridges.
Should pre-construction monitoring result in a decision to construct, monitoring for resident and migrating wind turbines and birds a guidance document should continue throughout the construction period in order to add to the certainty of EIA conclusions regarding wind turbines and birds a guidance document, and to allow EIA-required measures to avoid, reduce, or compensate for impacts to be refined as needed.
Diligent maintenance wind turbines and birds a guidance document be performed on wind turbines and other equipment so as to reduce risks to birds. For example, keeping nacelle drainage holes properly wind turbines and birds a guidance document will prevent birds from entering the turbines to roost or nest.
Wind farm operation should be carried out in the most biodiversity-friendly manner feasible. With respect to migratory birds in particular, this means avoiding green landscaping around wind farm offices, transporting food wastes or other organic refuse for proper disposal away from the wind farm, and otherwise wind turbines and birds a guidance document the creation of landscape features that could attract more birds to the wind farm area.
Construction operations and the building of access roads can increase the public access and use of previously isolated areas, which may have an impact on resident species present in an area. Any fencing or ancillary features should not hinder animal migrations, where vulnerable species such as grouse or bustard species are present.
Flight diverters wind turbines and birds a guidance document be used to make fences clearly visible. Post-construction monitoring during wind farm operation includes at least two to three years of systematic searching for dead bird and bat carcasses underneath wind turbines and masts.
This monitoring should follow a scientifically valid methodology that takes into account searcher efficiency some carcasses are overlooked and scavenger removal in estimating the total number of bird or bat fatalities, as well as unusual climatic conditions. The results of monitoring should be used for annual evaluations of whether different or additional mitigation measures are needed, and after the initial period, whether monitoring wind turbines and birds a guidance document continue for additional years or seasons.
Post construction monitoring should also include bird observations that were carried out pre-construction. Wind farm operators and regulators should endeavor to disclose publicly the biodiversity data obtained from monitoring, so that this information can guide future wind power development and help to advance scientific knowledge. Wherever possible, government wind turbines and birds a guidance document nongovernmental organizations should develop formats in which data can be organized for future use.
Short-term shutdowns may be the result of recommendations made during post-construction evaluations. Prior to wind farm commissioning, a capability should be established—using human spotters, radar, or both—to implement short-term shut downs STS on demand, such as when a flock of migratory birds is noted approaching the turbines.
Scientifically credible, operationally feasible, and cost-effective criteria and procedures for STS must be developed before wind farm commissioning and then refined as needed in response to the findings from post-construction monitoring.
Capacity wind turbines and birds a guidance document reduction must be anticipated. In the event that post-construction monitoring finds significant bat mortality at wind turbines, increasing the night-time turbine cut-in speed to 6.
Enlisting stakeholder support can help fill gaps in data collection and analysis. Local universities, as well as national and international nongovernmental organizations, can provide both data and expertise for developers, lenders, and regulators.
Uniform technical guidelines for addressing biodiversity issues in wind power projects could support national and regional standardization and cooperation by specifying criteria and good practices for technically challenging mitigation measures, such as short-term shut downs and modified cut-in speeds, and recommended methods for pre- and post-construction monitoring, including standard protocols for data collection, presentation, and sharing. To understand better the impacts of wind power on birds and bats and how to minimize them, the CIF has been bringing together representatives from CIF pilot countries governments, civil society, private sector, multilateral wind turbines and birds a guidance document banks MDBand other partners in a series of roundtable discussions and learning workshops to share experiences and innovations.
Our growing community is sharing website, reports, and other resources to create connections and advance understanding and action. Wind turbines and transmission lines can displace bird and bat populations and disrupt breeding and feeding. Learn more about CIF investments in wind power in: Best Practices and Guidance. Although not an exhaustive list, contributors suggest guidance on: Strategic Environmental Assessments SEAwhich are assessment processes that go beyond project-level and aim to integrate environmental and social considerations into strategic decision-making, can help balance opportunities and constraints for wind energy development and identify favored and non-favored areas for development by: Identifying regional topographic and other effects that can concentrate migrating birds that are vulnerable to wind projects into broad fronts or bottlenecks, or that concentrate feeding, roosting, or breeding birds.
Identifying areas where barrier effects may occur, causing birds to divert around turbines and wind farms and thus expend more energy to reach breeding, wintering, feeding or other destinations. The barrier effect can also imply that habitats used by birds or other fauna adjacent to wind developments may also suffer an impact, meaning the effect of the development is greater than the area itself. Buffer zones merit consideration as do assessment of contiguous habitats.
Considering other existing or planned land uses in the region. Addressing cumulative impacts of multiple wind energy developments upon same species and populations. Conservation status of the land e. Migratory bird survey to cover the two migration seasons. Within key areas of global flyways, the use of radar to aid assessment of migration movements is ideal.
Breeding bird surveys to assess the potential footprint and buffer zone impact of a development on resident species and baseline conditions present in the area.
Vulnerable and protected species specific surveys that need individual assessment e. Wintering ornithological surveys may also be required, which could include non-breeding surveys and those for resident and over wintering migrants. Electrified wires at the same height are at least 2.
Insulators and similar electrified devices either point down from the cross-pole where a bird might perch or are otherwise outside the normal stretching reach of a perched bird.
Measures to minimize fatal bird collisions wind turbines and birds a guidance document the guy wires of masts wind measurement towers include: Placing bird diverters or flappers on guy wires to help prevent collisions.
Promptly removing any masts that are no longer needed or non-functioning. Measures to minimize this risk include: Using night lights on nacelle tops required for aviation safety, but with the minimum number of lights not on every turbine to show the wind farm dimensions consistent with aviation regulatory requirements.
Choosing white strobe lights which minimize bird attractionrather than solid or slowly pulsating red or white lights.
For Addressing the Impacts of Wind Power on Birds and Bats To understand better the impacts of wind power on birds and bats and how to minimize them, the CIF has been bringing together representatives from CIF pilot countries governments, civil society, private sector, multilateral development banks MDBand other partners in a series of roundtable discussions and learning workshops to share experiences and innovations.