We are delighted to announce that our Marine Species Team ornithologists have recently been successful in a bid to secure funding for an exciting new 3-year research project on UK Procellariiformes (shearwaters and storm-petrels).
The ProcBe (Procellariiform Behaviour and Demographics) project forms part of the Offshore Wind Evidence and Change Programme, led by The Crown Estate in partnership with the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero and Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. The Offshore Wind Evidence and Change Programme is an ambitious strategic research and data-led Programme. Its aim is to facilitate the sustainable and coordinated expansion of offshore wind to help meet the UK’s commitments to low carbon energy transition whilst supporting clean, healthy, productive and biologically diverse seas. The latest call from the Programme has funded four projects focussed on the theme of "Improving understanding of environmental impacts", specifically looking at the impacts of offshore wind on wildlife.
The ProcBe project will explore the evidence gaps around the interactions between Manx shearwaters and storm-petrels and offshore wind farms, particularly when considering behaviour in adverse weather conditions (such as high winds) and for species such as storm-petrels which are difficult to detect using current survey methods. This is particularly important given the proposed expansion of offshore wind developments into the Celtic and Irish Seas and off the west coast of Scotland where these species are found in some of the highest densities in the UK.
This 3-year project will start in November 2023 and will be led by JNCC with three project partners: University of Oxford, the RSPB, and University of Gloucestershire.
More information on this latest call from the Offshore Wind Evidence and Change Programme is available in The Crown Estate's press release.