Wind Farm Construction Impacts Reindeer Migration and Movement Corridors

Journal Article

Title: Wind Farm Construction Impacts Reindeer Migration and Movement Corridors
Publication Date:
October 01, 2015
Journal: Landscape Ecology
Volume: 30
Issue: 8
Pages: 1527-1540
Publisher: Springer

Document Access

Website: External Link
Attachment: Access File
(545 KB)

Citation

Skarin, A.; Nellemann, C.; Rönnegård, L.; Sandström, P.; Lundqvist, H. (2015). Wind Farm Construction Impacts Reindeer Migration and Movement Corridors. Landscape Ecology, 30(8), 1527-1540.
Abstract: 

Context

 

Over the last decade, we have seen a massive increase in the construction of wind farms in northern Fennoscandia. Wind farms comprising hundreds of wind turbines are being built, with little knowledge of the possible cumulative adverse effects on the habitat use and migration of semi-domestica ted free-ranging reindeer.

 

Objectives

 

We assessed how reindeer responded to wind farm construction in an already fragmented landscape, with specific reference to the effects on use of movement corridors and reindeer habitat selection. Methods We used GPS-data from reindeer during calving and post-calving in the Mala reindeer herding community in Sweden. We analysed data from the pre-development years compared to the construction years of two relatively small wind farms.

 

Results

 

During construction of the windfarms, use of original migration routes and movement corridors within 2 km of development declined by 76 %. This decline in use corresponded to an increase in activity of the reindeer measured by increased step lengths within 0-5 km. The step length was highest nearest the development and declining with distance, as animals moved towards migration corridors and turned around or were observed in holding patterns while not crossing. During construction, reindeer avoided the wind farms at both regional and landscape scale of selection.

 

Conclusions

 

The combined construction activities associated with even a few wind turbines combined with power lines and roads in or close to central movement corridors caused a reduction in the use of such corridors and grazing habitat and increased the fragmentation of the reindeer calving ranges.

Find Tethys on InstagramFind Tethys on FacebookFind Tethys on Twitter
 
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.