Better utilisation and transparency of bird data collected by powerline companies

Kettel, E.F. ORCID: 0000-0001-8555-6195, Thaxter, C., Oppel, S., Carryer, A., Innis, L. and Pearce-Higginsaf, J.W., 2022. Better utilisation and transparency of bird data collected by powerline companies. Journal of Environmental Management, 302 (Part A): 114063. ISSN 0301-4797

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There is in an ongoing expansion of powerlines as a result of an increasing global demand for energy. Powerlines have the potential to negatively impact wild bird populations through collisions and/or electrocution, and reducing bird powerline collision and electrocution risk is a priority for companies running high-voltage powerlines (known as Transmission System Operators (TSOs)). Most TSOs are legally required to assess any potentially significant impacts via Enivronmental Impact Assessments, and so potentially collect a significant amount of data on the presence of species, species behaviour, and observed mortality rates. The value of such data, if available, for reducing and preventing bird casualties could be enhanced by increasing availability across TSOs and other decision-makers. We review the extent to which the sharing of data is happening across Europe, and how the quality, scope and availability of bird data collected by European TSOs could be improved, through use of a questionnaire and workshop with TSOs, conservationists and academics. Sixteen European TSOs responded to the questionnaire and 30 stakeholders attended the workshop. There was wide recognition of the value of different types of data on birds at powerlines, and a positive attitude to working together to share and enhance data across stakeholders to achieve the shared goal of reducing bird mortalities. Key barriers to the sharing of data included a lack of a centralised database, the lack of standardised methods to collect bird data and concerns over the confidentiality of data and reports. In order to overcome these barriers and develop a collaborative approach to data sharing, and ultimately inform best practice to reduce significant negative impacts on bird populations, we suggest a stepwise approach that (1) develops guidance around the field methods and data to be collected for mitigation effectiveness and (2) shares meta-data/bibliography of studies of powerline impacts/mitigation effectiveness for birds. In time, a more structured approach to the sharing of data and information could be developed, to make data findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Environmental Management
Creators: Kettel, E.F., Thaxter, C., Oppel, S., Carryer, A., Innis, L. and Pearce-Higginsaf, J.W.
Publisher: Elsevier
Date: 15 January 2022
Volume: 302
Number: Part A
ISSN: 0301-4797
Divisions: Schools > School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 18 Nov 2021 16:16
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2022 03:00

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