Third International Scientific and Practical Conference “Eagles of the Palearctic: Study and Conservation”
Raptors Conservation. Suppl. 2. Proceedings of Conferences
WIND FARM IMPACTS ON BIRDS AND BATS: PLANNING, BASELINE STUDIES, MITIGATION AND MONITORING OVERVIEW
Fernández-Mellado, R. & García de la Morena, E.L. (Biodiversity Node S.L. Sector Foresta, Madrid, Spain)
Rodrigo Fernández-Mellado email@example.com
Eladio L. García de la Morena firstname.lastname@example.org
Recommended citation: Fernández-Mellado R., García de la Morena E.L. Wind Farm Impacts on Birds and Bats: Planning, Baseline Studies, Mitigation and Monitoring Overview. – Raptors Conservation. 2023. S2: 434–435. DOI: 10.19074/1814-8654-2023- 2-434-435 URL: http://rrrcn.ru/en/archives/35194
Onshore wind energy has undergone enormous development over the last decade globally. Looking only at the European Union (EU), 11 GW were installed in 2021 alone. But the predictions are even higher for the period 2022–2026. If we focus our attention only on the group of 27 EU countries, the average annual installed onshore wind capacity is expected to be 18 GW. In Kazakhstan, wind energy has been installed so far in a small number of projects, although it has enormous capacity for expansion. The government has established a wind energy development programme until 2030, which foresees the installation of 2 GW (around 400 wind turbines). But this technology is not free of impacts on biodiversity, and especially on birds and bats. The main effects on these groups are: direct habitat loss due to vegetation removal; habitat degradation due to light and noise impacts; habitat fragmentation; loss of connectivity and the barrier effect on local and regional wildlife migrations; death by direct collision (or barotrauma in the case of bats); or increased predation rates by opportunistic predators. Therefore, only through planning, good baseline studies, use of the best-known mitigation measures and adequate monitoring of the actual effects caused in the operation phase will it be possible to mitigate their effects. Our presentation gives an overview of the main effects on biodiversity that have been detected in Europe for wind energy, finally reviewing the main mitigation and monitoring measures employed, so that during the development of this technology in Kazakhstan, the best existing knowledge can be used as a starting point.