Assessing the sensitivity of seabird populations to adverse effects from tidal stream turbines and wave energy devices

Furness, R. W., Wade, H. M., ROBBINS, A. M.C. and Masden, E. A. (2012) Assessing the sensitivity of seabird populations to adverse effects from tidal stream turbines and wave energy devices. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 69(8), pp. 1466-1479. (doi:10.1093/icesjms/fss131)

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Abstract

Tidal turbines and wave energy devices may affect seabird populations through collision mortality, disturbance and habitat loss. Given the pressures to harness tidal and wave energy, especially in Scottish waters, there is an urgent need to assess population-level impacts on seabird species. With a lack of deployed devices to monitor in areas of importance for seabirds, our approach uses data from scientific literature on seabird ecology and conservation importance likely to influence population vulnerability to “wet renewables” in Scottish waters. At this stage however, we can only infer likely interactions with tidal and wave devices. We identify black guillemot, razorbill, European shag, common guillemot, great cormorant, divers and Atlantic puffin as the species most vulnerable to adverse effects from tidal turbines in Scottish waters. We identify divers as the species most vulnerable to adverse effects from wave energy devices in Scottish waters. Wave energy devices seem likely to represent a lesser hazard to seabirds than tidal turbines, and both forms of energy capture seem likely to represent a lower hazard to seabirds than offshore wind farms (wind-power plants). The indices developed here for Scottish seabird populations could be applied to populations elsewhere. This approach will help in identifying likely impacts of tidal and wave energy deployments on seabirds, and in optimizing deployment of resources for compulsory environmental monitoring.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:ROBBINS, Alexandra and Furness, Professor Robert and Wade, Miss Helen
Authors: Furness, R. W., Wade, H. M., ROBBINS, A. M.C., and Masden, E. A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:ICES Journal of Marine Science
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:1054-3139
ISSN (Online):1095-9289

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