In times of increasingly selective interpretations of research results, sound decision-making in environmental management can be complicated. Actors compete for opinion leadership over relevant findings. A recent example is the agitated debate over the study “Prognosis and assessment of collision risks of birds at wind turbines in northern Germany” (PROGRESS). This debate, arising in the science-policy-practice interface, challenges research results and subsequent implications for planning and decision-making processes. We used the PROGRESS discourse to conduct a “frame analysis” and identified relevant actors, their argumentation patterns and potential motives. Discourses reveal patterns of perception that can be spotted by content analyses of available statements. It became obvious that research results do not necessarily just reduce knowledge gaps. The frames “wildlife protection and conservation” and “research methods” were of major importance in the discourse, addressing the paramount question of whether wind energy development actually affects raptor populations. The discourse indicated, inter alia, that uncertainties still revolve around collision risk estimators, demographic population models, the efficacy of mitigation measures and whether the challenges at hand might be dealt with on a case-by-case or a metalevel planning approach. In conclusion, the question remains: Who might unanimously communicate both findings and implications? A thorough and bias-sensitive communication of research results might foster sound decision-making processes in the wind and wildlife sector, particularly based on “best available science” efforts.
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