Reindeer herdsmen and authorities in Scandinavia fear detrimental effects from wind-power plants (WPs) on movements and area use of reindeer Rangifer tarandus tarandus. We tested the extent to which a WP represented a behavioural barrier for reindeer movement by comparing two neighbouring areas; one peninsula with and one without a WP. Both peninsulas had a parallel road and a power line bisecting them in a north-south direction. Presence of a larger or similar number of reindeer on the outer western compared to the inner eastern sections in both areas indicated no barrier effect from the WP. Furthermore, no clear barrier effects were found for reindeer movements during summer in the WP or neighbouring area, as reindeer have continued to cross back and forth between the inner and outer sections of the two areas. Contrary to our expectation, our finding contrasted with previous studies finding negative barrier effects from linear structures such as power lines and roads, suggesting considerable variation in the extent to which infrastructure acts as barriers.
Is a Wind-Power Plant Acting as a Barrier for Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus) Movements?
Title: Is a Wind-Power Plant Acting as a Barrier for Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus) Movements?
December 01, 2012
Journal: Wildlife Biology
Colman, J.; Efestol, S.; Tsegaye, D.; Flydal, K.; Mysterud, A. (2012). Is a Wind-Power Plant Acting as a Barrier for Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus) Movements?. Wildlife Biology, 18(4), 439-445.