This report presents a summary of existing evidence, and potential research opportunities, to better understand the population dynamics of black-legged kittiwakes and how populations might respond to potential additional mortality from offshore wind farm development. This work has been undertaken on behalf of the Offshore Wind Strategic Monitoring and Research Forum (OWSMRF). OWSMRF is an industry-led collaborative forum that aims to identify and develop research to fill critical knowledge gaps in our understanding of the impact of offshore wind development on the marine environment.
OWSMRF stakeholders identified a lack of understanding of cumulative impacts from offshore wind development on kittiwakes as one of the greatest environmental consenting risks. Improving confidence in models that assess population response to offshore wind farm mortality was identified as one of three key knowledge gaps in this area, the other two being: reducing uncertainty around estimates of collision mortality and connectivity between offshore wind farms and SPAs.
JNCC organised a workshop that aimed to identify research opportunities that will improve understanding of kittiwake population dynamics and drivers of population change in the context of offshore wind development, thereby improving our ability to predict population response to novel impacts.