Post-construction avifauna investigations were undertaken at Project West Wind, Meridian Energy Limited's 62-turbine wind farm on the Wellington south coast. These investigations were required in accordance with the resource consent conditions to quantify the level of avian mortalities occurring at the wind farm, particularly in regard to New Zealand falcon (Falco novaeseelandiae), kākā (Nestor meridionalis) and kererū (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae). This is the first comprehensive study at a New Zealand operating wind farm. The methods included three field components necessary to calculate annual estimates of mortalities across the wind farm site: routine turbine searches; carcass detection trials; and carcass removal trials. Results from years 1 and 2 of a three-year programme are presented. To date, mortalities have been recorded for 17 taxa at 18 of the 24 study turbines. There have been no recorded mortalities of falcon, kākā or kererū. Australasian harrier (Circus approximans) has been the species for which the most mortalities have been recorded. Overall estimated annual mortality rates for years 1 and 2 were calculated to be approximately six and five birds per turbine respectively.
Post-Construction Avian Mortality Monitoring at Project West Wind
Title: Post-Construction Avian Mortality Monitoring at Project West Wind
February 27, 2013
Journal: New Zealand Journal of Zoology
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Bull, L.; Fuller, S.; Sim, D. (2013). Post-Construction Avian Mortality Monitoring at Project West Wind. New Zealand Journal of Zoology, 40(1), 28-46.