Baseline & Monitoring

Baselines and pre-construction baseline monitoring plans are one of the most important pieces of work in an environmental assessment process. These inform post-construction monitoring plans and what mitigation measures need to be taken, such as technology design and ‘shut-down on demand’. Monitoring information is important to verify whether mitigation solutions are working and for estimation of cumulative impacts of different developments on a single species. Monitoring should be performed before and after construction of the wind farm in a comparable way and monitoring should be performed within the wind farm area and in one or more control areas. 


Reviewing and developing a Baseline


1. AEWA Guidelines on infrastructural developments and waterbirds: provides guidelines on how to review baseline and waterbird population assessments p.26

2. FNN-Guidelines on bird protection markers: Guideline is in German (DE) and provides information on how to develop bird protection markers.  

3. MFI & CSBI Baseline guide: A comprehensive guide to developing a biodiversity baseline study prepared by Multilateral Financing Institutions and the Cross Sector Biodiversity Initiative.

4. Bat Surveys: a good practice guide for professional ecologists on conducting bat surveys.


1. IBAT for assessments of development proximity to biodiversity areas


Monitoring approaches and techniques


1. MSB Shutdown on demand:  provides a review and guidance on the use of “shutdown-on demand” for wind turbines to conserve migrating soaring birds in the Rift Valley/Red Sea Flyway and provides a list of advantages and limitations of different radar systems used for monitoring pp.22-25

2. EUROBATS: provides guidelines on how to monitor various impacts on bats, including cumulative effects pp.32-39

3. CMS Renewable energy technology guidelines: provide general guidelines on pre- and post construction monitoring pp.13-15 

4. Bat and Bird Mortality Occurring at Wind Energy Turbines: provides two approaches for monitoring: carcass searches and surveys of animals prone to collisions. 

5. Birdlife South Africa Guidance on Monitoring Wind Energy Impacts on Birds: detailed best practice guidance on how to monitor impacts of wind energy on birds.

6. RenewableUK Cumulative Impact Assessment (CIA) Guidelines: guidance document aimed at planning and offshore wind industry professionals, which includes principles for effective monitoring.  


1. BirdLife International Extranet page: The Migratory Soaring Birds project provides a collection of further reading on Monitoring (only available for BirdLife staff).

2. Synthesis by Swedish EPA: provides examples of the effect of wind power on birds and bats and provides recommendations for pre and post construction surveys pp.129-131