The planned large-scale development of offshore wind farms (OWFs) in the North Sea has potential consequences for many marine organisms, including seabirds. The response of seabirds to wind farms varies depending on species: some may be attracted to the wind farms leading to risk of collisions, some will avoid them and some do not respond. Those birds that avoid wind farms do not suffer from collisions but may suffer from habitat loss if OWFs are built in areas they use, which may in turn negatively affect the populations of seabirds using the Dutch continental shelf. Adverse effects of offshore wind farms on seabirds potentially lead to a trade-off between societal demands for marine nature conservation and clean energy. Seabirds are important target species in European conservation frameworks. In this report, we develop and apply a method for assessing the effect of habitat loss on five seabird species: red-throated divers (Gavia stellata), northern gannets (Morus bassanus), sandwich terns (Thalasseus sandvicensis), razorbills (Alca torda) and common guillemots (Uria aalge). To our knowledge, this is the first study that calculates effects on the full life cycle and the larger North Sea population.
The consequences of seabird habitat loss from offshore wind turbines, version 2
Title: The consequences of seabird habitat loss from offshore wind turbines, version 2
July 01, 2019
Document Number: C063/19
Publisher: Wageningen Marine Research
van Kooten, T.; Soudijn, F.; Tulp, I.; Chen, C.; Benden, D.; Leopold, M. (2019). The consequences of seabird habitat loss from offshore wind turbines, version 2. Report by Wageningen University and Research Centre. pp 117.