During the past 18 months BirdLife South Africa, the Endangered WildLife Trust as well as a number of bird specialists developed an Avian Wind Farm Sensitivity Map for South Africa. The purpose of the map is to indicate localities in South Africa that contain species that are believed to be sensitive to wind farm developments. Care should be taken when developing wind farms in these areas.
Developing the map was a complicated process and a large number of factors were considered during the design of the map. When downloading the files and viewing the files care should be taken as to how to evaluate the maps. The following should be taken into consideration:
- The purpose of the map is to indicate levels of sensitivity with regards to areas that might be sensitive for wind farm development.
- The sensitivity map does not replace the EIA or pre- and post- construction monitoring processes. At most, the map provides some guidance as to the level of monitoring that should be done at each proposed wind farm wind farm project site. For more information click here.
- The map does not indicate "No-Go" zones. It may therefore, with further study, be possible to construct wind farms in areas with high sensitivity values. At most, the map indicates a high risk value and something a wind farm developer should take into consideration when considering different areas for possible development.
- The sensitivity values on the map are influenced by the extent of the available data. The confidence factor should therefore be taken into consideration when evaluating the data. A pentad with a low number of species and few bird lists could mean that there are species which have not yet been recorded in the area.
- Some of the data on the map are based on SABAP1 data which might be outdated and of less value.
- Please refer to the document entitled "Avian Wind Farm Sensitivity Map for South Africa: Criteria and Procedures Used", which can be downloaded from the page mentioned below, for details as to how the map was designed. The design process must be taken into consideration when evaluating the map.
- This map is a work in progress. As more and more species data are collected through pre- and post- construction monitoring the map will be updated accordingly.
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