With over 153 windfarms now operating in Scotland, there is a need to learn from existing and ongoing monitoring of birds near windfarms. The Scottish Wind farm Bird Steering Group (SWBSG) brings together the renewables industry, conservation organisations and government to do this. 

The Group has representatives from the Scottish Government, Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Renewables and RSPB Scotland.  Their work is focused on achieving the following outcomes to develop a clearer understanding of the interactions between birds and windfarms.

iStock 000002733439XSmall•    Providing an independent, scientific assessment of the impacts of wind farms on birds.
•    Better sharing and dissemination of data across the sectors.
•    Making available better data to inform disturbance distances, avoidance rates and other factors relevant to windfarm Environmental Impact Assessments. 
•    Quicker and more acurate consenting decisions.
•    Reduced investment risk.
•    Providing robust data to inform Environmental Impact Assessments for wind farms in increasingly sensitive locations.
•    Reducing the need for survey work on the assessment on future sites based on an improved understanding of the interaction of wind farms and birds.

Developing a common understanding of the interactions between wind farms and birds is key to both the future development of the industry and to the interests of conservation organisations alike. This can best be facilitated by developing a shared source of data and information, drawn from the existing and on-going monitoring work and from research undertaken by industry and conservation bodies.
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