In the selection of appropriate wind energy sites there are always extensive and complex decision criteria that need to be considered. In many cases, the chosen site is within sensitive habitat of protected wildlife, such as the capercaillie. In the Black Forest (southwest Germany), the evaluation of areas occurs in terms of the potential for conflict with capercaillie protection, based on the Black Forest-wide Capercaillie Action Plan. The Action Plan is based on a multitude of studies on the habitat requirements, distribution and vulnerability of this species. A foundation for the evaluation of wind turbines in the Black Forest was laid out in 2012. This includes a Black Forest-wide map, showing the wind speed in different areas, and also differentiated by "capercaillie category“ (Black Forest map (German)). Based on numerous studies on capercaillie and their habitats, potential negative effects of wind turbines on capercaillie cannot be ruled out. However, as to the specific effects of wind turbines on capercaillie, there is no commonly-accepted, scientific research. Politics and science are in agreement: a long-term research project, in which these effects can be studied, is urgently needed.
Read more about the development of the Capercaillie Action Plan: click here