Biodiv Sci ›› 2022, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (11): 22173.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2022173

• Original Papers: Animal Diversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Impact of wind turbines on birds in the coastal area of Yancheng, Jiangsu, China

Libo Zhang1, Chunrong Li2, Guoyuan Chen2, Fangzheng Liu1, Jianwu Luo1, Yue Zhou1, Chunting Feng1, Wei Wang1,*()   

  1. 1. Institute of Ecology, Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, Beijing 100012
    2. Yancheng National Rare Waterfowls Nature Reserve in Yancheng, Jiangsu 224002
  • Received:2022-04-08 Accepted:2022-08-23 Online:2022-11-20 Published:2022-11-09
  • Contact: Wei Wang


Aims: In recent years, wind power generation has been developing rapidly in China, and studies have found that wind power projects have varifying degrees of impact on bird diversity. However, previous studies primarily adopted traditional survey methods of birds in the region, without conducting long-term systematic monitoring of birds killed by wind turbines. Little is known about the possible causes of wind turbine mortality. Thus, it is difficult to propose targeted mitigation measures based on the actual causes of birds being killed by wind turbines.

Methods: In this paper, our study area was the wind turbines factory in the coastal area of Yancheng, Jiangsu Province. The carcass search method was applied to investigate the wind turbine mortality of birds in the study area. We conducted a total of 22 consecutive surveys from October 2020 to September 2021 to explored bird mortality from wind turbines.

Results: (1) There were 12 species in 8 orders and 10 families that were found dead under the wind turbines. The dead birds were primarily native birds or species that breed in the region, accounting for 66.7% of the dead bird species. (2) A total of 41 dead birds were found under the wind turbines. The most common were ring-necked pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) at 19 individuals, which were generally found in farmland or agricultural protection forest. Dead night herons (Nycticorax nycticorax) and egrets (Egretta garzetta) were also common, with 6 and 5 individuals found, respectively, and were generally found in near fishponds. (3) Based on the injuries of the dead birds, it was concluded that the bases of the wind turbines caused more collisions resulting in death than the fan blades.

Conclusion: According to our study, we proposed the following suggestions to mitigate the impact of wind turbines on birds. These suggestions include continuous bird monitoring, controlling habitats under wind turbines, and strengthening the research and development of bird-related repellent technology and equipment. We hope this study can provide a reference for the coordinated development between wind power and ecological environmental protection in China.

Key words: wind turbines, bird collisions, causes of mortality, monitoring, mitigating measures