The present study was commissioned by AES Geo Energy Ltd., Kaliakra Wind Power, EVN Kavarna, Degrets OOD, Disib OOD, Windex OOD, Long Man Invest OOD, Long Man Energy OOD, Zevs Bonus OOD, Vertikal-Petkov & Sie SD, Wind Park Kavarna East EOOD, Wind Park Kavarna West EOOD, and Millennium Group OOD in order to collect and summarize the information about the performance of the Integrated System for Protection of Birds (ISPB) that includes 114 wind turbines, 95 of which are within the Kaliakra SPA BG0002051 and 19 are in the areas adjacent to the protected zone. Considering the potentially adverse effects on environmental features, notably birds (T-PVS/Inf (2013) 15 https://tethys.pnnl.gov/publications/wind-farms-and-birds-updated-analy…), the ISPB was implemented in 2018. The ISPB aims to provide a systematic monitoring programme, primarily including fatalities through collision with rotating turbine blades, disturbance leading to the displacement of birds from feeding, drinking, roosting or breeding sites (effectively a form of habitat loss), and turbines presenting a barrier to flight movements, thereby preventing access to areas via those movements or increasing energy expenditure to fly around the turbine locations (Hötker et al. 2006, Madders & Whitfield 2006, Drewitt & Langston 2008, Masden et al. 2009, 2010, de Lucas et al. 2004, 2008, Ferrer et al. 2012, Grünkorn et al. 2016).
Enacting the ISPB includes a combination of radar observations and meteorological data, integrated with field visual observations, which jointly used are essential for the accurate risk assessment and ensures that appropriate action is taken immediately. So far as potential adverse impacts of turbine collisions on birds, a Turbine Shutdown System (facilitated by an Early Warning System: EWS) is deployed.
The monitoring studies are based on the requirements of basic normative and methodological documents as follows: Environmental Protection Act, Biological Diversity Act, Bulgarian Red Data Book, Directive 92/43/EEC for habitats and species, and Directive 2009/147/EC on the conservation of wild birds, Protected Areas Act and Order RD-94 of 15.02.2018 of the Minister of Environment and Waters. Best international practices are also incorporated (https://www.seo.org/wpcontent/uploads/2014/10/Guidelines_for_Assessing_… and_Bats.pdf). Detailed information about the scope, technical rules and monitoring procedure are publicly available at a dedicated website https://kaliakrabirdmonitoring.eu/. A detailed review of the scientific information published in scientific journals and in technical reports was also carried out for the studied area.
This report presents results of the ornithological survey and monitoring at the ISPB (Figure 1) in the period 01 December 2020 to 28 February 2021, including carcass searches and Turbine Shutdown System application. The primary objective of the 2020-2021 wintering bird studies within the ISPB territory was to investigate the possible effects of the wind farms (114 wind turbines) on geese populations, notably the Red-breasted Goose (RBG) (Branta ruficollis) due to its conservation status (https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/22679954/59955354 ). To date, there have been no indications that wind turbines in Kalaikra region has had any adverse impact on wintering geese, including RBG (http://www.acta-zoologica-bulgarica.eu/downloads/acta-zoologica-bulgari…). This report presents the latest results, from the 2020-2021 winter monitoring in the ISPB territory within Kalikra.
The geese species observed in the territory and behavioral characteristics of the geese are described in detail in previous reports available at the web site of ISPB (https://kaliakrabirdmonitoring.eu/).