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the Netherlands
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Windturbines en kleine zwanen
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Wind turbines and Bewick's swans

Bewick's swan
Photo: Martin Bonte

The total world population of Bewick's swan is currently estimated at 20,000 individuals, although in recent years numbers have been slowly declining. Bewick's swans breed in Arctic Russia and winter in the Netherlands and the UK.

One of the most important wintering areas for this species is the agricultural area of the Wieringermeer in the Netherlands. This area is also one of the most important areas in the Netherlands for the generation of renewable wind energy. This area offered us the opportunity to study the effects of wind turbines on Bewick's swans.

The distribution and foraging behaviour of Bewick's swans in relation to food and wind turbines was studied during the course of an entire winter. The results of this research are presented presented in the following report and in addition have been presented at various conferences and in scientific and semi-scientific articles.

Fijn, R.C., Krijgsveld, K.L., Tijsen, W., Prinsen, H.A.M., Dirksen, S. 2012. Habitat use, disturbance and collision risks for Bewick's swans Cygnus columbianus bewickii wintering near a wind farm in the Netherlands. Wildfowl 62: 97-116.

Effecten op zwanen en ganzen van het ECN windturbine testpark in de Wieringermeer. Aanvaringsrisico's en verstoring van foeragerende vogels. Fijn, R.C., K.L. Krijgsveld, H.A.M. Prinsen, W. Tijsen & S. Dirksen, 2007. (07-094).

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