Expansion of offshore wind energy in Germany: effects on seabirds in the North Sea and Baltic Sea (OWF-seabirds)


Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)


Dr. Verena Peschko, Prof. Dr. Stefan Garthe

Project term:

December 2020 to November 2023


Project outline:

The aim of the project is to investigate the effects of offshore wind turbines on seabirds in the North Sea and Baltic Sea. Currently, the expansion of offshore wind farms (OWFs) in the German EEZ is progressing rapidly; plans for the next decades indicate large-scale dimensions. This makes the cumulative effects of the operation of many wind farms and estimates of the consequences of further wind farms for seabirds central to this project.
Based on the analyses of Garthe et al. (2018) for loons, the requested project will address common guillemot based on all available and usable data from 2000-2020. In addition, the study by Garthe et al. (2018) will be updated to include currently available additional data sets for the loon (diver) species group. Furthermore, statistical modeling will be used to predict how different OWF expansion scenarios in the North Sea will affect the the distribution of loons (divers) and common guillemots. Indices will also be developed to help determine which areas in the North Sea and Baltic Sea are more or less suitable for offshore wind energy development, or in which areas seabirds would experience more or less displacement or be at risk of collision due to OWF development.