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Attracted to the outside : a meso-scale response pattern of lesser black-backed gulls at an offshore wind farm revealed by GPS telemetry

(2020) ICES JOURNAL OF MARINE SCIENCE. 77(2). p.701-710
Author
Organization
Abstract
Among seabirds, lesser black-backed gulls (Larus fuscus) are considered to be at high risk of colliding with offshore wind turbines. In this respect, we used GPS tracking data of lesser black-backed gulls caught and tagged in two colonies along the Belgian North Sea coast (Ostend and Zeebrugge) to study spatial patterns in the species’ presence and behaviour in and around the Thornton Bank offshore wind farm (OWF). We found a significant decrease in the number of GPS fixes of flying birds from up to a distance of at least 2000 m towards the middle of the wind farm. Non-flying birds showed a similar avoidance of the wind farm interior, yet presence strongly peaked right at the wind farm’s edge, demonstrated to represent gulls perching on the outer turbine jacket foundations. The findings of this study reveal a strong within-wind farm variability in bird density, a most crucial parameter in collision risk modelling. The method presented here is straightforward and similar studies conducted at other wind farm sites on a range of large gull species (Larus sp.) would allow to assess the potential and species-specific variation in meso-scale response patterns and to gain insight in the underlying ecological incentives, which in turn would provide widely applicable and much-needed input for (cumulative) collision impact assessments.
Keywords
Ecology, Aquatic Science, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics, Oceanography

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MLA
Vanermen, Nicolas, et al. “Attracted to the Outside : A Meso-Scale Response Pattern of Lesser Black-Backed Gulls at an Offshore Wind Farm Revealed by GPS Telemetry.” ICES JOURNAL OF MARINE SCIENCE, edited by Stephen Votier, vol. 77, no. 2, 2020, pp. 701–10.
APA
Vanermen, N., Courtens, W., Daelemans, R., Lens, L., Müller, W., Van de walle, M., … Stienen, E. W. M. (2020). Attracted to the outside : a meso-scale response pattern of lesser black-backed gulls at an offshore wind farm revealed by GPS telemetry. ICES JOURNAL OF MARINE SCIENCE, 77(2), 701–710.
Chicago author-date
Vanermen, Nicolas, Wouter Courtens, Robin Daelemans, Luc Lens, Wendt Müller, Marc Van de walle, Hilbran Verstraete, and Eric W M Stienen. 2020. “Attracted to the Outside : A Meso-Scale Response Pattern of Lesser Black-Backed Gulls at an Offshore Wind Farm Revealed by GPS Telemetry.” Edited by Stephen Votier. ICES JOURNAL OF MARINE SCIENCE 77 (2): 701–10.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Vanermen, Nicolas, Wouter Courtens, Robin Daelemans, Luc Lens, Wendt Müller, Marc Van de walle, Hilbran Verstraete, and Eric W M Stienen. 2020. “Attracted to the Outside : A Meso-Scale Response Pattern of Lesser Black-Backed Gulls at an Offshore Wind Farm Revealed by GPS Telemetry.” Ed by. Stephen Votier. ICES JOURNAL OF MARINE SCIENCE 77 (2): 701–710.
Vancouver
1.
Vanermen N, Courtens W, Daelemans R, Lens L, Müller W, Van de walle M, et al. Attracted to the outside : a meso-scale response pattern of lesser black-backed gulls at an offshore wind farm revealed by GPS telemetry. Votier S, editor. ICES JOURNAL OF MARINE SCIENCE. 2020;77(2):701–10.
IEEE
[1]
N. Vanermen et al., “Attracted to the outside : a meso-scale response pattern of lesser black-backed gulls at an offshore wind farm revealed by GPS telemetry,” ICES JOURNAL OF MARINE SCIENCE, vol. 77, no. 2, pp. 701–710, 2020.
@article{8659370,
  abstract     = {Among seabirds, lesser black-backed gulls (Larus fuscus) are considered to be at high risk of colliding with offshore wind turbines. In this respect, we used GPS tracking data of lesser black-backed gulls caught and tagged in two colonies along the Belgian North Sea coast (Ostend and Zeebrugge) to study spatial patterns in the species’ presence and behaviour in and around the Thornton Bank offshore wind farm (OWF). We found a significant decrease in the number of GPS fixes of flying birds from up to a distance of at least 2000 m towards the middle of the wind farm. Non-flying birds showed a similar avoidance of the wind farm interior, yet presence strongly peaked right at the wind farm’s edge, demonstrated to represent gulls perching on the outer turbine jacket foundations. The findings of this study reveal a strong within-wind farm variability in bird density, a most crucial parameter in collision risk modelling. The method presented here is straightforward and similar studies conducted at other wind farm sites on a range of large gull species (Larus sp.) would allow to assess the potential and species-specific variation in meso-scale response patterns and to gain insight in the underlying ecological incentives, which in turn would provide widely applicable and much-needed input for (cumulative) collision impact assessments.},
  author       = {Vanermen, Nicolas and Courtens, Wouter and Daelemans, Robin and Lens, Luc and Müller, Wendt and Van de walle, Marc and Verstraete, Hilbran and Stienen, Eric W M},
  editor       = {Votier, Stephen},
  issn         = {1054-3139},
  journal      = {ICES JOURNAL OF MARINE SCIENCE},
  keywords     = {Ecology,Aquatic Science,Ecology,Evolution,Behavior and Systematics,Oceanography},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {701--710},
  title        = {Attracted to the outside : a meso-scale response pattern of lesser black-backed gulls at an offshore wind farm revealed by GPS telemetry},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsz199},
  volume       = {77},
  year         = {2020},
}

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