Clients: Marine Scotland, HiDef Aerial Surveying, SSE
Client: Marine Scotland, HiDef Aerial Surveying, SSE
Permission to build wind-farms is contingent on care for the natural environment. A large part of this is ensuring that the local animal populations are not significantly impacted - this requires a lot of population monitoring and modelling. We have provided modelling for most wind-farms about the UK.
We've provided survey designs for aerial surveys to achieve particular monitoring objectives. Boat and plane-based survey data has been modelled to explore changes in animal distributions over different phases of wind-farm construction. Potential impacts have been modelled/simulated through to future population impacts to estimate practical consequences.
Observation data has to be adjusted for effort to generate local abundance estimates, and where needed, adjusted for imperfect detection (such as boat-based observers) and availability (diving animals) using distance analysis. Modelling consists of density surface models, with inferential adjustments for autocorrelation and bootstrapping. Speculative impacts can be simulated under similar models to explore mitigation or survey power. Estimated redistribution or changes in local abundances may be used in PVAs to determine medium-to-long term effects on populations.