Collision Effects of Wind-power Generators and Other Obstacles on Birds

Journal Article

Title: Collision Effects of Wind-power Generators and Other Obstacles on Birds
Publication Date:
June 28, 2008
Journal: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Volume: 1134
Issue: 1
Pages: 233-266
Publisher: Wiley
Technology Type:

Document Access

Website: External Link


Drewitt, A.; Langston, R. (2008). Collision Effects of Wind-power Generators and Other Obstacles on Birds. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1134(1), 233-266.

There is extensive literature on avian mortality due to collision with man‐made structures, including wind turbines, communication masts, tall buildings and windows, power lines, and fences. Many studies describe the consequences of bird‐strike rather than address the causes, and there is little data based on long‐term, standardized, and systematic assessments. Despite these limitations, it is apparent that bird‐strike is a significant cause of mortality. It is therefore important to understand the effects of this mortality on bird populations. The factors which determine avian collision risk are described, including location, structural attributes, such as height and the use of lighting, weather conditions, and bird morphology and behavior. The results of incidental and more systematic observations of bird‐strike due to a range of structures are presented and the implications of collision mortality for bird populations, particularly those of scarce and threatened species susceptible to collisions, are discussed. Existing measures for reducing collision mortality are described, both generally and specifically for each type of structure. It is concluded that, in some circumstances, collision mortality can adversely affect bird populations, and that greater effort is needed to derive accurate estimates of mortality levels locally, regionally, and nationally to better assess impacts on avian populations. Priority areas for future work are suggested, including further development of remote technology to monitor collisions, research into the causes of bird‐strike, and the design of new, effective mitigation measures.

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