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Research strategy and equipment for studying flying birds in wind farms in the Belgian part of the North Sea
Brabant, R.; Jacques, Th. (2009). Research strategy and equipment for studying flying birds in wind farms in the Belgian part of the North Sea, in: Degraer, S. et al. Offshore wind farms in the Belgian part of the North Sea: State of the art after two years of environmental monitoring. pp. 223-235
In: Degraer, S.; Brabant, R. (2009). Offshore wind farms in the Belgian part of the North Sea: State of the art after two years of environmental monitoring. Management Unit of the North Sea Mathematical Models, Marine Ecosystem Management Unit/Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences: Brussel. 287 + annexes pp.

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  • Brabant, R.
  • Jacques, Th.

Abstract
    The effects of offshore wind farms on flying birds are still uncertain at this time. Therefore it remains a necessity to study the impact of newly built wind farms on the flight movements of local and migrating birds. The biggest concern is the mortality risk due to collisions with the offshore constructions. This preliminary study aims to determine a research strategy and to select the right equipment to meet the long term research goals. According to De Groote & Roggeman (2006) the desired monitoring needs to be conducted with an Automated Radar System (ARS). The different ARS that were compared, in this study, are fit for purpose. In compliance with European legislation a public call for tender will be published and the received quotations will be evaluated on several criteria. The best suited ARS within the limits of the allocated budget will be purchased. The offshore high voltage stations seem to be the most appropriate locations for mounting the ARS. Before a platform is installed at sea it would be useful to install and test the ARS at an onshore location. This will give the researchers the ability to spend time with the system, which is not always possible offshore, and to get acquainted with the data. To estimate the mortality risk seems useful to calculate the number of collision victims with existing models. The data from the vertical scanning radar (fluxes, altitudes) will be used as input for the collision models. This is more reliable than results based on visual flux counts.

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