Capercaillie and Wind Energy
This report is part of an international five-year research project, “Capercaillie and Wind Energy” that investigates whether there are scientifically verifiable effects of wind turbines on capercaillie, as well as what these effects are. In Sweden, Capercaillie were studied in the Jädraås wind park for a 4-year post- construction period.
Potential impacts of wind energy facilities on the species’ individual and popu lation level were analysed by studying resource and habitat selection, movement ecology, reproduction success, risk of predation and stress physiology.
The researchers could not find significant differences in mean capercaillie sign density between wind energy facilities and control sites. The study revealed a decrease in resource selection within a distance of approximately 865 m around wind energy facilities.
For Sweden, the researchers propose a focus on suitable habitat in the landscape in combination with a distance threshold of 865 m to capercaillie leks and summer habitats, to minimize the risk of negative population-level effects by the presence of wind turbines and their accompanying infra structure.
The effect of population survival strongly depends on the species’ regional and national status. The project was financed by Vindval and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency.