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2002-2004, School of Ocean Sciences (University of Wales - Bangor), Predicting the displacement of common scoter Melanitta nigra from benthic feeding areas due to offshore windfarms

2002-2004, School of Ocean Sciences (University of Wales - Bangor), Predicting the displacement of common scoter Melanitta nigra from benthic feeding areas due to offshore windfarms

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Birds

Description

The environmental impact assessments of most offshore windfarm proposals raise the potential
effects on birds as an important issue. Offshore windfarms may affect birds in a number of different
ways including mortality due to direct collisions of birds while in flight and mortality induced by habitat
loss due to the avoidance by foraging birds of such conspicuous structures. Birds that may be affected
by displacement from foraging areas within close proximity to windfarms are likely to be those such as
common scoter and common eiders that feed on sedentary or slow-moving bottom-dwelling organisms
such as bivalve molluscs and fish-eating birds such as grebes, terns, auks and divers. This present
study used field observations and surveys combined with an individuals-based modelling approach to
predict the change in over-winter mortality rates of common scoter that would result from the
displacement of birds from potential feeding habitat through the avoidance of windfarms in Liverpool
Bay. The model code is, however, not specific to Liverpool Bay and can be utilised for other areas
provided that suitable data are collected.

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