Sunday, 12 August 2012

Migrating geese avoid offshore wind farms, says study

Pink-footed geese appear to be avoiding new offshore wind farms when returning to the UK, a study has suggested.
By monitoring the movement of the birds over four years, researchers were able to detect changes in flight patterns around two newly erected wind farms.
The results show that this species of geese, at least, identify wind farms as a threat and alter their flight to avoid turbine blades, the authors said.
Pawel Plonczkier and Ian Simms from the Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera) monitored migrating flocks of pink-footed geese (Anser brachyrynchus) using radar as they returned to a Lincolnshire shore.
Although the geese are known to identify potentially hazardous structures in open environments, the extent to which they would avoid obstructions was not known before this study.
Because geese have relatively limited manoeuvrability in flight and often migrate at night, the threat of colliding with wind turbines was perceived to be substantial.

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