According to European policy, wind farms are a promising alternative energy source. Wind farms can be considered as “green” energy but in some cases, especially in areas where protected species of fauna occurs, some problems can rise. In this study the impact of two wind farms on a raptor community in northeastern Greece is presented. The study area is located in Evros and Rhodopi prefectures, Greece, close to the last breeding colony of Eurasian Black Vulture Aegypius monachus in the Balkans (National Park of DadiaSoufli-Lefkimi). The main objective was to determine the impacts of these wind farms on the raptor population. Is focused on: (1) death of birds through collision with the turbines; (2) evaluation of risky behaviour and risk factors; (3) changes in the use of the habitat and evaluation of habitat loss due to the wind farms, and (4) proposing measures to reduce the impacts once the risk factors are detected. Two viewpoints were selected in each wind farm, overlooking the major part of the turbines. We visited the viewpoints during 52 days of fieldwork, 4 hours each time. In addition, a fix group of turbines was walked in every visit to search for dead birds. The data collected include species, number, sex, age, type and height of flight and activity of all observed raptors. Additionally if the birds had been observed close to the turbines or crossing the “row”, some other variables has been collected, like the closest turbine, the distance to the turbine, etc. The results of this study cover the breeding season, summer and autumn 2004. No raptors were found dead. Because of this, it is impossible to relate risk events directly with mortality and a low mortality can be expected. Most of the birds detected in the risk area were local birds. High proportion of detected birds in the risk area crossed the turbines, thus the effect of the windmills on the behaviour of the birds is supposed to be rather low. Many movements of the raptors occurred close to the outermost turbines, but many vultures were observed to cross the lines in the gaps of the lines.
Impacts of Wind Farms on Birds in Evros and Rhodopi, Greece: Pleminary results
Title: Impacts of Wind Farms on Birds in Evros and Rhodopi, Greece: Pleminary results
January 01, 2006
Conference Name: Proceedings of the International Conference on Conservation and Management of Vulture Populations
Conference Location: Thessaloniki, Greece
Publisher: Natural History Museum of Crete & WWF Greece
Ruiz, G.; Poirazidis, K.; Schindler, S. (2006). Impacts of Wind Farms on Birds in Evros and Rhodopi, Greece: Pleminary results. Paper Presented at the Proceedings of the International Conference on Conservation and Management of Vulture Populations, Thessaloniki, Greece.