Wind energy development and wildlife conservation in Lithuania: A mapping tool for conflict assessment

Autoři: Rasa Morkūnė aff001;  Mantas Marčiukaitis aff002;  Viačeslav Jurkin aff001;  Giedrius Gecevičius aff004;  Julius Morkūnas aff001;  Liutauras Raudonikis aff005;  Antanas Markevičius aff002;  Aleksas Narščius aff001;  Zita R. Gasiūnaitė aff001
Působiště autorů: Marine Research Institute, Klaipeda University, Klaipėda, Lithuania aff001;  Lithuanian Energy Institute, Kaunas, Lithuania aff002;  Coastal Research and Planning Institute, Klaipėda, Lithuania aff003;  University of Applied Sciences, Kaunas, Lithuania aff004;  Lithuanian ornithological society, Vilnius, Lithuania aff005
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 15(1)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0227735


The paper presents a mapping tool aiming to identify and minimise potential conflicts between onshore wind energy development and wildlife conservation in Lithuania. It merges current information on the distribution, conservation status and sensitivity of birds and bats to wind power with an integrated evaluation of wind resources (modelled wind speed), special planning status and technical perspectives of wind energy development. The paper includes assessment of the selected wildlife species which were described as sensitive to wind power (69 breeding and 43 migratory bird species and 17 bat species bats in the country). Used species level information allowed the precise identification of sensitive territories and might be used to mitigate negative wind farm effects using special measures based on species behavior. Finally, we delivered overlaps as possible conflicts among the most promising wind farm areas and the areas with high sensitivity in relation to bird and bat distribution. These overlaps point to the required attention and relevant decisions that are needed to ensure sustainable development of wind energy throughout the country. We suggest this tool for initial determination of appropriate areas for wind energy development in the country and as supplement to Environmental Impact Assessment.

Klíčová slova:

Alternative energy – Animal migration – Birds – Conservation science – Wildlife – Wind – Wind power – Lithuania


1. Nugent D, Sovacool BK. Assessing the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions from solar PV and wind energy: A critical meta-survey. Energy Policy. 2014 Feb 1;65:229–44.

2. Resolution on the approval of the national energy independence strategy, 2012. Seimas of the republic of Lithuania. Approved 26 June 2012 No XI-2133, Vilnius. Available from:

3. Cellura MA, Cirrincione G, Marvuglia A, Miraoui A. Wind speed spatial estimation for energy planning in Sicily: Introduction and statistical analysis. Renewable energy. 2008 Jun 1;33(6):1237–50.

4. Cowell R. Wind power, landscape and strategic, spatial planning—the construction of ‘acceptable locations’ in Wales. Land use policy. 2010 Apr 1;27(2):222–32.

5. Aydin NY, Kentel E, Duzgun S. GIS-based environmental assessment of wind energy systems for spatial planning: A case study from Western Turkey. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. 2010 Jan 1;14(1):364–73.

6. Hoover SL, Morrison ML. Behavior of red‐tailed hawks in a wind turbine development. The Journal of wildlife management. 2005 Jan;69(1):150–9.

7. Barrios L, Rodriguez A. Behavioural and environmental correlates of soaring‐bird mortality at on‐shore wind turbines. Journal of applied ecology. 2004 Feb;41(1):72–81.

8. Wang S, Wang S, Smith P. Ecological impacts of wind farms on birds: Questions, hypotheses, and research needs. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. 2015 Apr 1;44:599–607.

9. Rydell J, Engström H, Hedenström A, Larsen JK, Pettersson J, Green M. The effect of wind power on birds and bats. A synthesis. Report. 2012 Aug;6511.

10. Langston RHW, Pullan JD. Windfarms and birds: an analysis of the effects of wind farms on birds, and guidance on environmental assessment criteria and site selection issues. Report T-PVS/Inf, BirdLife International to the Council of Europe, Bern Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats. RSPB/BirdLife in the UK, 2003. Available from:

11. Bright J, Langston R, Bullman R, Evans R, Gardner S, Pearce-Higgins J. Map of bird sensitivities to wind farms in Scotland: a tool to aid planning and conservation. Biological Conservation. 2008 Sep 1;141(9):2342–56.

12. Bright JA, Langston R, Anthony S. Mapped and written guidance in relation to birds and onshore wind energy development in England. RSPB; 2009.

13. Developing and testing the methodology for assessing and mapping the sensitivity of migratory birds to wind energy development. Strix. 2012. Available from:

14. Liechti F, Guélat J, Komenda-Zehnder S. Modelling the spatial concentrations of bird migration to assess conflicts with wind turbines. Biological Conservation. 2013 Jun 1;162:24–32.

15. Aarts B, Bruinzeel L. De nationale windmolenrisicokaart voor vogels. SOVON Vogelonderzoek Nederland; 2009.

16. Everaert J. Site selection for new wind farms in Flanders: new dynamic decision-instrument for birds and bats. Presentation on Conference on Wind energy and Wildlife impacts. 2011. Available from:

17. Arnett EB, May RF. Mitigating wind energy impacts on wildlife: approaches for multiple taxa. Human–Wildlife Interactions. 2016;10(1):5.

18. Energy Zones Mapping Tool. 2019. Available from:

19. Van Haaren R, Fthenakis V. GIS-based wind farm site selection using spatial multi-criteria analysis (SMCA): Evaluating the case for New York State. Renewable and sustainable energy reviews. 2011 Sep 1;15(7):3332–40.

20. National Land Service under the Ministry of Agriculture; 2016. Available from: (in Lithuanian).

21. Official Portal of Statistics of Lithuania. 2017. Available from:

22. The Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Lithuania. GRPK—Spatial Data Set of (GEO) Reference Base Cadastre. Available from:

23. Atlas of the breeding birds of Lithuania, 2006. Ed. Kurlavičius P.. Kaunas: Lututė, 256 p. (in Lithuanian)

24. Rodrigues L, Bach L, Dubourg-Savage MJ, Goodwin J, Harbusch C. Guidelines for consideration of bats in wind farm projects. 2008:51.

25. Gualtieri G., Secci S, 2012. Gualtieri G, Secci S. Methods to extrapolate wind resource to the turbine hub height based on power law: A 1-h wind speed vs. Weibull distribution extrapolation comparison. Renewable Energy. 2012 Jul 1;43:183–200.

26. Database of the project VENBIS. 2017. Available from: (in Lithuanian).

27. Information System of the Protected Species of Lithuania under the Ministry of Environment. 2017. Available only with permissions from: (in Lithuanian).

28. McGuinness S, Muldoon C, Tierney N, Cummins S, Murray A, Egan S, et al. Bird sensitivity mapping for wind energy developments and associated infrastructure in the Republic of Ireland. BirdWatch Ireland, Kilcoole, Wicklow. 2015.

29. Žalakevičius M. Paukščių migracijos. Vilnius, Mokslas; 1986.

30. Retief EF, Diamond M, Anderson MD, Smit HA, Jenkins A, Brooks M, et al. Avian wind farm sensitivity map for South Africa: criteria and procedures used. Unpublished Report. 2013.

Článek vyšel v časopise


2020 Číslo 1