Effect of tower base painting on willow ptarmigan collision rates with wind turbines
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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- Scientific publications 
1. Birds colliding with turbine rotor blades is a well-known negative consequence of wind-power plants. However, there has been far less attention to the risk of birds colliding with the turbine towers, and how to mitigate this risk. 2. Based on data from the Smøla wind-power plant in Central Norway, it seems highly likely that willow ptarmigan (the only gallinaceous species found on the island) is prone to collide with turbine towers. By employing a BACI-approach, we tested if painting the lower parts of turbine towers black would reduce the collision risk. 3. Overall, there was a 48% reduction in the number of recorded ptarmigan carcasses per search at painted turbines relative to neighboring control (unpainted) ones, with significant variation both within and between years. 4. Using contrast painting to the turbine towers resulted in significantly reduced number of ptarmigan carcasses found, emphasizing the effectiveness of such a relatively simple mitigation measure.