Data from: Wind farm turbines cause functional habitat loss for migratory soaring birds

Marques AT, Santos CD, Hanssen F, Muñoz A, Onrubia A, Wikelski M, Moreira F, Palmeirim JM, Silva JP. 2019. Data from: Wind farm turbines cause functional habitat loss for migratory soaring birds. Movebank Data Repository.
NOTE: An updated and larger version of this dataset is available. See ABSTRACT: (1) Wind energy production has expanded to meet climate change mitigation goals, but negative impacts of wind turbines have been reported on wildlife. Soaring birds are among the most affected groups with alarming fatality rates by collision with wind turbines and an escalating occupation of their migratory corridors. These birds have been described as changing their flight trajectories to avoid wind turbines, but this behaviour may lead to functional habitat loss, as suitable soaring areas in the proximity of wind turbines will likely be underused. (2) We modelled the displacement effect of wind turbines on black kites (Milvus migrans) tracked by GPS. We also evaluated the impact of this effect at the scale of the landscape by estimating how much suitable soaring area was lost to wind turbines. (3) We used state‐of‐art tracking devices to monitor the movements of 130 black kites in an area populated by wind turbines, at the migratory bottleneck of the Strait of Gibraltar. Landscape use by birds was mapped from GPS data using dynamic Brownian bridge movement models and generalized additive mixed modelling was used to estimate the effect of wind turbine proximity on bird use while accounting for orographic and thermal uplift availability. (4) We found that areas up to approximately 674 m away from the turbines were less used than expected given their uplift potential. Within that distance threshold, bird use decreased with the proximity to wind turbines. We estimated that the footprint of wind turbines affected 3‐14% of the areas suitable for soaring in our study area. (5) We present evidence that the impacts of wind energy industry on soaring birds are greater than previously acknowledged. In addition to the commonly reported fatalities, the avoidance of turbines by soaring birds causes habitat losses in their movement corridors. Authorities should recognize this further impact of wind energy production and establish new regulations that protect soaring habitat. We also showed that soaring habitat for birds can be modelled at a fine scale using publicly available data. Such an approach can be used to plan low‐impact placement of turbines in new wind energy developments.
Milvus migrans,animal tracking,avian migration,black kites,GPS loggers,Milvus migrans,Strait of Gibralter,wind energy
Milvus migrans
Black Kite
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DOIs of related Publications
  title = {Data from: Wind farm turbines cause functional habitat loss for migratory soaring birds},
  author = {Marques, AT and Santos, CD and Hanssen, F and Muñoz, A and Onrubia, A and Wikelski, M and Moreira, F and Palmeirim, JM and Silva, JP},
  year = {2019},
  URL = {},
  doi = {doi:10.5441/001/1.q23p1t84},
  publisher = {Movebank data repository}
ID  - doi:10.5441/001/1.q23p1t84
T1  - Data from: Wind farm turbines cause functional habitat loss for migratory soaring birds
AU  - Marques, Ana Teresa
AU  - Santos, Carlos David
AU  - Hanssen, Frank
AU  - Muñoz, Antonio-Román
AU  - Onrubia, Alejandro
AU  - Wikelski, Martin
AU  - Moreira, Francisco
AU  - Palmeirim, Jorge Manuel
AU  - Silva, João Paulo
Y1  - 2019/02/21
KW  - Milvus migrans
KW  - animal movement
KW  - animal tracking
KW  - avian migration
KW  - black kites
KW  - GPS loggers
KW  - Milvus migrans
KW  - Strait of Gibralter
KW  - wind energy
KW  - Milvus migrans
PB  - Movebank data repository
UR  -
DO  - doi:10.5441/001/1.q23p1t84
ER  -