A new study published in the Journal of Applied Ecology has shown that densities of red grouse, snipe and curlew declined in areas around wind turbines studied during their construction and, in the case of snipe and curlew, numbers did not recover after construction work ended.

The study, by scientists from the RSPB, the British Trust for Ornithology and Scottish Natural Heritage, examined densities of 10 breeding bird species (including curlew, snipe, skylark, red grouse and golden plover) at 18 unenclosed upland sites. While the research showed potential positive impacts on populations of skylark, stonechats and meadow pipits, the report?s authors noted that: ?high levels of activity and disturbance are likely to cause birds to vacate territories close to the turbines?. This was particularly the case with curlew and snipe, with a predicted 48 per cent decline in abundance of snipe within 500m of turbines.

The rest of this article appears in the 18th April issue of Shooting Times.

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