Seabirds windfarm interactions – Skokholm

Species: Lesser Black-backed Gull

Having explored the interactions between Lesser Black-backed Gulls and wind farms at a colony on the east coast of Britain, we expanded this project to include two colonies on the west cost of Britain, South Walney (part of Walney Island) in northwest England, and Skokholm Island in southwest Wales.

Skokholm Island (51° 42′N, 5° 16′W) is part of the Skokholm and Skomer Special Protection Area (SPA). The Lesser Black-backed Gull population here has fallen from more than 4,600 pairs in 1979 to 1,565 pairs in 2014. It is therefore important to establish how this population uses the marine environment and how it might be affected by offshore wind farm developments, both during the breeding season and at other times of the year.

24 UvA-BiTS tags were fitted to adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls in 2014 and interactions with wind farms have been assessed both in the breeding season and through migration and wintering periods.

Lesser black-backed gulls in Skokholm

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Contact Persons:

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

Emily Scragg, British Trust for Ornithology emily.scragg@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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