Seabird windfarm interactions – Walney

Species: Lesser Black-backed Gull

Gull colony in Walney

Having explored the interactions between Lesser Black-backed Gulls and wind farms at a colony on the east coast of Britain, we have now expanded this project to include two colonies on the west coast of Britain, Skokholm Island in Pembrokeshire and South Walney Nature Reserve (part of Walney Island) in Cumbria.

South Walney (54° 05′N, 3° 19′W) is part of the Morecambe Bay Special Protection Area (SPA). The island is currently home to 4,500 pairs of breeding Lesser Black-backed Gulls, but this has fallen from more than 40,000 pairs in 1978. It is therefore important to establish which areas of marine habitat are important to this population and how it might be affected by offshore wind farm developments, of which several already exist, both during the breeding season and at other times of the year.

Gull colony in Walney

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Contact Persons:

Chris Thaxter, British Trust for Ornithology chris.thaxter@bto.org

Viola Ross-Smith, British Trust for Ornithology viola.ross-smith@bto.org

Willem Bouten, IBED-UvA w.bouten@uva.nl

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