Assessment of the “lake effect” of photovoltaic solar plants on migratory birds

Due to the structural design of the solar panels, photovoltaic plants have a smooth and uniform appearance, similar to a sheet of water as they reflect light just as a lake or a pond would. For this reason, photovoltaic plants can have an attracting effect on nocturnal migrating bird species and can be lead to their death due to collision.

To evaluate this possible attraction effect during the migration months, bioacoustic monitoring techniques will be used. Specifically, acoustic recorders will be placed (following the NOCMIG methodology) in photovoltaic plants and control areas to monitor the nocturnal migration of birds by recording their flight calls.

Example of a sonogram of a bird's migration flight call (right) obtained by installing automatic sound recorders (left)

In 2023, the Chair will carry out a pilot study in Murcia during the spring migratory passage and recorders will be installed in future PV plants in Murcia, Toledo and Seville to evaluate the post-reproductive migratory passage in its pre-operational phase.

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