Background Information

The focus of this website is on ‘Grouse and Wind Energy’. Further information can be found below, under various headings. Wind energy is only one of many factors influencing the conservation status of grouse populations. Further information on this can be found under the heading ‘Capercaillie Management.’ Particularly, in the ‘Capercaillie Action Plan’, the complexities of the relationship between the current situation and necessary actions are comprehensively illustrated. Under “General: Capercaillie”, we have compiled additional links which may be of interest regarding the evaluation of wind energy. The same goes for the heading “Wildlife and Wind Energy”, under which a selection of interesting links can be found.

This background information does not purport to be comprehensive, but is rather to provide the reader with a starting point from which they can further inform themselves about one topic or another. We are always happy to receive suggestions for other relevant and well-founded links!

Grouse and Wind Energy

Planning Criteria

Planning criteria for the evaluation of wind energy facilities in capercaillie habitats in the Black Forest (German)
Planungsgrundlage FVA - Auerhuhn&Windenergie

The German Inter-State Working Group of Bird Conservation Observatories (LAG FSV) published distance recommendations for the construction of wind turbines near areas of bird activity (German)
Länderarbeitsgemeinschaft der Vogelschutzwarten - Windenergie

An orientation guide for wind energy planning (German)
Konfliktpotenzialkarte Windenergie – Vögel in der Schweiz

Guidelines for the assessment of infrastructural development in black grouse habitat (English)
Building projects in Black Grouse habitats - assessment guidelines

Map of sensitive bird areas in Scotland (English)
Bird sensitivity map to provide locational guidance for onshore wind farms in Scotland


Impacts on Grouse

After the construction of wind turbines, signs of capercaillie in the Cantabrian Mountains disappeared (English)
Cantabrian Capercaillie signs disappeared after a wind farm construction

Birkhühner Tetrao tetrix: Ein Leben zwischen Windrädern und Skiliften (A life between wind turbines and ski lifts) (German)
To article

The influence of wind turbines on greater sage-grouse in the USA (English)
Short-term impacts of wind energy development on greater sage-grouse fitness

Female greater prairie chickens are influenced by wind turbines in the USA (English)
Effects of Wind Energy Development on Nesting Ecology of Greater Prairie-Chickens
Space use by female Greater Prairie-Chickens in response to wind energy development
Effects of wind energy development on survival of female greater prairie-chickens

Renewable energies are also a large topic in Sweden. Many wind farms also overlap with ideal capercaillie or black grouse habitats. In 2009, a dead capercaillie cock was found under a Swedish wind turbine. In another case, grouse experts were able to detect a decline in a black grouse population of around 50% in 5 years. Further information on Swedish research can be found here (Swedish)
Tjaderobs - Vindkraft  and Tjäderkommittén / Tjäderobservatörerna



Capercaillie Management

Capercaillie Action Plan: Management Basis for Capercaillie in the Black Forest (German)
Aktionsplan Auerhuhn Schwarzwald

Capercaillie Action Plan Switzerland: Management Basis for Capercaillie in Switzerland (German)
Aktionsplan Auerhuhn Schweiz

A LIFE-Project was carried out on the Rohrhardsberg (English
LIFE-Project Rohrhardsberg

In order to assess the capercaillie population size in the Bavarian Forest National Park, comprehensive monitoring will be carried out (English)
Modelling habitat suitability for the Capercaillie Tetrao urogallus in the national parks Bavarian Forest and Sumava

In the Fichtel Mountains, much is being done to ensure capercaillies continue to feel comfortable (German)
Auerhühner im Fichtelgebirge

Capercaillie management in Scotland (English)
Scottish species action framework plan

LIFE-Project in Scotland on the restoration of a healthy capercaillie population (English)
Capercaillie Life Project

Information brochure on capercaillie-friendly forestry in Scotland (English)
Forest Management for Capercaillie

A guide to capercaillie habitat management in Scotland (English)
Multi-scale forest habitat management for capercaillie

Guidelines for land-use planning to prevent disturbance during the breeding season (English)
Advice for land managers on avoiding disturbance to capercaillie

A pilot project in Brandenburg was conducted to determine whether resettlement of capercaillie in the area was successful (German)
Wiederansiedlung des Auerhuhns in Brandenburg

A short film on capercaillie management (German)
Fristlose Kündigung fürs Auerhuhn - Wohnungsnot im Schwarzwald?

Information about the capercaillie population in Scotland (English)
Status, Basic Ecology and Conservation of Capercaillie



General: Grouse

Grouse collide with cables and fences in Norway and Scotland (English)
Estimates and population consequences of grouse collisions with powerlines in Norway
Assessment of Bird Collisions with Deer Fences in Scottish Forests

Influence of human disturbance on capercaillie in Scotland (English)
Impacts of Human Disturbance on Capercaillie Tetrao urogallus Distribution and Demography in Scottish Woodland

Capercaillies are stressed in areas with considerable winter tourism in the German and Swiss Alps (English)
Winter tourism increases stress hormone levels in the Capercaillie Tetrao urogallus

Report on the protection status and threats to Grouse, worldwide (English)
Grouse - Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan 2006-2010

This website is for little capercaillie fans! (German)
Das Auerhuhn für Kinder

What environmental factors influence black grouse, and are they actually under pressure? (German)
Birkwild - Beeinflussung durch Umweltfaktoren

Over 2 years, American scientists gathered data on greater sage-grouse in Wyoming. In doing so, they hope to make informed statements about behavioral alterations after the construction of wind turbines (English)
Greater Sage-Grouse Habitat Use and Population Demographics at the Simpson Ridge Wind Resource Area, Carbon County, Wyoming

On the website of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), one can find much information on grouse and other animals. For each animal species, there is a published a distribution map (English)
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species



Wildlife and Wind Energy

The German Wildlife Foundation published a status report with recommendations for wind energy in forest habitats. Bats and birds are the focus (German)
Energiewende und Naturschutz: Windenergie im Lebensraum Wald

The State Agency for Environment, Measurements and Nature Conservation Baden-Württemberg has a website with planning guidance for wind energy and nature protection (German)
Windkraft und Naturschutz

A summary from Bavaria (German)
Windkraft und Vogelschutz

A joint project from NABU, BioConsult and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research amongst others, makes suggestions to solve the birds of prey and wind energy issue (German)
Greifvögel und Windkraftanlagen: Problemanalyse und Lösungsvorschläge

In 2013, BirdLife International published an updated report on the influence of wind energy facilities on birds (English)
Wind farms and Birds: an updated analysis of the effects of wind farms on birds, and best practice guidance on integrated planning and impact assessment

Wind energy facilities: collision casualties database of the state-owned Brandenburg Bird Observatory (staatlichen Vogelschutzwarte Brandenburg) (German)
Auswirkungen von Windenergieanlagen auf Vögel und Fledermäuse

Bats and wind energy facilities: an overview (English)
Ecological impacts of wind energy development on bats: questions, research needs, and hypotheses

Collisions of birds with wind turbines (English)
Collision Effects of Wind-power Generators and Other Obstacles on Birds

Do birds avoid wind turbines? Differences between species (English)
An analysis of displacement from wind turbines in a wintering grassland bird community

In 2012, the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA) released a comprehensive report on the conflicts between birds and wind energy. The situations before and after construction were compared (English)
Pre- and post-construction studies of conflicts between birds and wind turbines in coastal Norway (Bird-Wind)


Further Publications

Einflüsse der Windenergienutzung auf Vögel - Kollisionsopfer(German)
Assessing the impacts of wind farms on birds - Drewitt & Langston 2006 (English)
Wind energy developments and wildlife - Kuvlesky et al. 2007 (English)
The state of knowledge of utility-scale wind energy development  on  wildlife - Lovich & Ennen 2012  (English)


We would like to thank the following people for the use their photos:

Erich Marek -
Joy Coppes
Julia Taubmann
Karl-Eugen Schroth
Klaus Echle -
Mark Wöss
Monika Pfeifer -
Thomas Kranabitl -
Ursula Nopp-Mayr
Veronika Grünschachner-Berger -