Radio telemetry as a tool for impact assessment of wind farms: the case of Little Terns Sterna albifrons at Scroby Sands, Norfolk, UK

Little Tern (Sterna antillarum) Science Article 4


Many seabirds travel widely to exploit variably distributed prey resources, utilizing even profitable patches only briefly as prey become available. Assessing the relative importance of areas occupied by wind farms relies on sufficient survey effort to increase the probability of detection and later assessment to an acceptable level. Conventional techniques suffer from high sampling costs and infrequent sampling of patches within larger areas. Remote techniques, which continuously sample habitat, may offer a solution although sufficient coverage may be difficult to achieve. In this paper, we outline experiences of the use of radio telemetry on LittleTerns Sterna albifrons at their most important UK breeding site, the Great Yarmouth North Denes Special Protection Area (SPA), in relation to a 30 turbine offshore wind farm on Scroby Sands, which encroaches to 2 km from the North Denes colony. Little Terns had not been radio-tagged previously in the UK, and the technical difficulties of tagging and subsequently following a small (55 g) diving seabird limited data collection.

MARTIN R. PERROW, ELEANOR R. SKEATE et al., Ibis 148 (s1), 57-75

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