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"Windfarms have a negative impact on protected seabirds"

Research by the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Science shows its increasingly difficult for protected bird species to survive in the vicinity of windfarms in the Belgian waters of the North Sea. Red throated loons, gannets, guillemots and puffins are now avoiding windfarms.

“We suspected that windfarms had a negative impact on some seabirds.  This has now been proved” says the institute’s Kelle Moreau.

“Bird counts have revealed that since the construction of windfarms red throated loons, gannets, guillemots and puffins have been heading for other areas”.

The institute is also providing the government with advice for the construction of windfarms: “It’s best not to build on the West Coast.  Vulnerability among seabirds to windfarms is greatest here. It’s better to build windfarms in the central area and further afield where there is less vulnerability”.

Researchers add that this doesn’t mean windfarms can be build in all areas where there is low vulnerability: “We need to take account of the impact of changes to the environment on other species and human activities.  It’s up to policy makers to integrate our recommendations into urban planning” says the researcher.

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