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Assessing seabird displacement at offshore wind farms: power ranges of a monitoring and data handling protocol
Vanermen, N.; Onkelinx, T.; Verschelde, P.; Courtens, W.; Van de walle, M.; Verstraete, H.; Stienen, E.W.M. (2015). Assessing seabird displacement at offshore wind farms: power ranges of a monitoring and data handling protocol. Hydrobiologia 756(1): 155-167. hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10750-014-2156-2
In: Hydrobiologia. Springer: The Hague. ISSN 0018-8158; e-ISSN 1573-5117, meer
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Offshore wind farm Belgian North Sea Seabirds at sea Impact assessment BACI monitoring Power analysis Zero inflated negative binomial modelling

Auteurs  Top 
  • Vanermen, N.
  • Onkelinx, T.
  • Verschelde, P.
  • Courtens, W.
  • Van de walle, M.
  • Verstraete, H.
  • Stienen, E.W.M.

Abstract
    Prior to the construction of an offshore wind farm at the Belgian Thorntonbank, local seabird abundance was studied by means of ship-based surveys. ‘Seabirds at sea’ count data, however, exhibit extreme spatial and temporal variation, impeding the detection of human impacts on seabird abundance and distribution. This paper proposes a transparent impact assessment method, following a before–after control–impact design and accounting for the statistical challenges inherent to ‘seabirds at sea’ data. By simulating a broad range of targeted scenarios based on empirical model coefficients, we tested its efficacy in terms of power and investigated how the chance of statistically detecting a change in numbers is affected by data characteristics, monitoring period and survey intensity. Because of high over-dispersion and/or zero inflation, the power to detect a 50% decrease in numbers was generally low, but did reach 90% within less than 10 years of post-impact monitoring for northern gannet (Morus bassanus) and common guillemot (Uria aalge).

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