The risk to certain soaring bird species posed by poorly-sited wind turbines and power lines is now well established, and badly planned operations can prove both environmentally and financially costly. Consequently, wind energy developers, governments and other stakeholder groups urgently need access to accurate ornithological information to better inform the planning process. This is particularly true in parts of the Middle East and Northeast Africa where a rapidly expanding wind energy sector coincides with a globally significant soaring bird migration route—the Rift Valley/Red Sea Flyway. Unfortunately, relevant data for this region has often been difficult to obtain and interpret. To address this problem, BirdLife International, working with its network of regional partners, has launched the Soaring Bird Sensitivity Mapping Tool, an online tool providing detailed information on the distribution of soaring bird species along the flyway. By providing and interpreting this information, it is hoped that the tool will become an essential instrument in the environmentally sound expansion of wind energy in the region.
This is a chapter from Wind Energy and Wildlife Interactions.