Autumn migration of soaring birds in North Dobrogea, Romania: a study with implications for wind farm development

Attila Fülöp 1 , 2 , Lőrinc Bărbos 1 , Gábor M. Bóné 1 , Szilárd J. Daróczi 1 , Luca A. Dehelean 1 , Réka B. Kiss 1 , István Kovács 1 , Attila Nagy 1 , and Tamás Papp 1
  • 1 Milvus Group – Bird and Nature Protection Association, Crinului street 22, 540620 Târgu Mureş, Romania
  • 2 MTA-DE “Lendület” Behavioural Ecology Research Group, Department of Evolutionary Zoology and Human Biology,University of Debrecen, Egyetem tér 1, 4032 Debrecen, Egyetem tér 1., Hungary

Abstract

In Dobrogea, a core area for wind energy exploitation in Romania, existing knowledge regarding the intensity and pattern of bird migration is limited. In the absence of enumerated data, wind farms may be constructed in areas where large aggregations of migrants pass. In this study we recorded the intensity of the autumn migration of soaring birds in three locations within the Măcin Mountains, where wind farms are planned to be built. The locations chosen were at Văcăreni, Greci and Cerna villages. Furthermore we categorized all migrating individuals as threatened or non-threatened by the planned wind farms, based on their migration routes and height at local scale. At Văcăreni 4.716 individuals were counted, 3.394 raptors and 1.322 non-raptors, at Greci 2.387 individuals, 2.064 raptors and 323 non-raptors, and finally at Cerna, 5.268 individuals, 4.529 raptors and 739 non-raptors. At all three sites a significant proportion of birds, both raptors and non-raptors, were found to be threatened by the proposed wind farms. At Văcăreni 68.33% of raptors and 84.95% of non-raptors were at threat, at Greci 44.48% and 54.18% respectively, and at Cerna 59.37% and 94.86%. As such we conclude that intensive migration occurs in North Dobrogea and wind farms would have a considerable negative impact on migrants in the studied areas

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