Webinar #2 in WREN Environmental Webinar Series
December 9, 2014
Quarterly webinar #2 will explore the attraction and interaction of marine mammals and seabirds to offshore wind farms. The presenters will provide examples of research methodologies for the detection of animal populations in the vicinity of offshore wind farms, describe the technologies used to detect the animals, and, where available, discuss any existing mitigation measures or post installation/operation monitoring.
Dr. Ross McGregor, Senior Ornithologist from UK’s Natural Power will present results of ornithological monitoring of a UK offshore wind farm: Robin Rigg, Solway, Scotland. Ross’s presentation will focus on the findings of boat based surveys of the pre-construction, construction and 2 years of post-construction (i.e. 4 years of data) analysis for 5 key species (common guillemot, razorbill, gannet, red-throated diver and great cormorant) where a novel statistical analysis was applied to produce density surface maps of the spatial distribution of birds across the wind farm and a large area around it. He will discuss the comparisons made between the different phases of the wind farm to determine whether changes in the distribution of birds are attributable to the wind farm.
The Effects of Windfarm Construction and Operation on Harbour Seals
Dr. Debbie Russell, Research Fellow from the Sea Mammal Research Unit, University of St. Andrews in Scotland, will present results from research on the impacts of wind farm construction and operation on harbour seals (Phoca vitulina). Telemetry tags were deployed on 23 harbour seals in The Wash, South-east England, allowing for the tracking of their movements and behaviour for up to six months. During this period, installations for one windfarm (Lincs) were piled and another windfarm became operational. A mixture of statistical techniques were used to determine the impact of these windfarms on harbour seal behaviour.
A video recording of the webinar has been posted below: