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Movement ecology of the red kite

Foto: Sascha Rösner -

In an association of research, planning, authorities and conservationists, we study ecological principles for the protection and development of the Red Kite population in Hesse. The Red Kite (Milvus milvus) probably is the species that is most frequently discussed in context of the expansion of wind energy. Approximately 50% of the world population of this species breeds in Germany, which gives rise to a special responsibility for its protection and preservation. Its breeding and foraging habitats often overlap with the position of wind farms. Therefore, it appears to be a frequent collision victim of wind turbines. To be able to assess the impact of different forms of land use and especially by wind turbines on the Red Kite more detailed, it is essential to understand individual movement patterns of these highly mobile animals. By analyzing the movement behavior of Red Kites, habitats and landscape structures with increased potential for conflict can be identified, and the risks posed by wind turbines can get assessed more detailed. Hence, recommendations for suitable conservation measures can be derived.

PhD scholarship: Theresa Spatz

PIs: Nina Farwig and Dana Schabo

Team: Sascha Rösner and Yvonne Tiede

Cooperation partner: Thomas Müller (Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre and U Frankfurt), Christian Gelpke (Office for Faunistic Issues), Steffen Koschkar, HGON e.V., DDA, NABU Hessen, State Ornithological Institute for Hessen, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland, Institute for Bird Research Helgoland, Swiss Ornithological Institute Sempach, HessenForst, Natural History Collections Wiesbaden, BioPlan Marburg, Planungsbüro Korn & Stübing, Echzell, Technisches Büro für Biologie, Austria, pixeldiversity GmbH

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Project funding: DBU