MacArthur Green has been commissioned by Marine Scotland to review the sensitivity of seabirds in Scottish waters to offshore wind farms. The aim of this guidance note is to devise criteria for quantifying the vulnerability of Scottish seabirds to offshore wind farms. This aim has the following objectives: 1) To provide a robust method to inform project scoping, ornithological assessments and wider marine spatial planning. In particular it should assist developers and their consultants in preparing ornithological impact assessments and habitat regulations appraisals. 2) To provide guidance for statutory and non-statutory bodies to assess ornithological impact assessments against objective scientific criteria. The primary value of this work will be to inform wider marine planning (e.g. SEAs) for future rounds of development. The use of sensitivity scores in current project level ornithological assessments, and particularly Habitats Regulations Appraisals, will be largely limited to the scoping stage. Scores will assist in the preliminary identification of species that will be sensitive to the effects assessed (collision, displacement, and to some extent, indirect effects on prey). More explicit site and population specific assessments will need to be made once baseline data are collected from specific development sites under consideration.
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