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Wind farm exploration pilots seek birdless areas  

Credit:  Kristopher Rikken, Estonian Public Broadcasting, err.ee ~~

A team of pilots is performing observation flights above the coast of Saaremaa and Ruhnu islands to determine where an offshore wind farm might be set up as part of the Estonia-Latvia cooperation program.

“The goal is to map the locations of birds and seals and to take wind and ice readings to establish where the most favorable spot for offshore wind farms is,” said University of Life Sciences agriculture and environment institute researcher Leho Luigujõe in the island’s daily, Saarte Hääl.

Luigujõe is in charge of mapping the bird habitats with a team of scientists, while teams on both national sides have been formed for seal census and other data. The work is under way year round so that a report could be drawn up by this autumn.

One of the biggest discoveries so far is that Ruhnu – the most isolated island – may not be a good site, due to the fact that large areas around the island are used by flocks of thousands of Arctic birds as a wintering spot.

“It’s a serious conflict risk,” said Luigujõe.

Source:  Kristopher Rikken, Estonian Public Broadcasting, err.ee

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