There is often no way around the experts

The evening swift wants to fly high, its flight height is between ten and 50 meters. This is bad. At least from the point of view of companies that build large wind turbines. Because the common bat, a species of bat, can get in their way. Or vice versa, the wind turbines can get in the way of the evening swift. Because, as ludwig lipp, specialist for nature conservation and landscape management at the lower nature conservation authority in the district of habberge, explains, the rotor blades of the powerful turbines generate high pressure when cutting the air. Pressure that the bats can neither anticipate nor withstand when they fly close to a wind turbine. "It literally crushes the animals, causing internal bleeding", explains lipp. The animals are dying.

Preventing this or at least limiting it as far as possible is the task of ludwig lipp and his colleague manfred husslein. The two experts from the lower nature conservation authority basically deal with every building project "in the vicinity", as they say. So there, where interventions in nature and landscape are planned. Most of the time, this concerns construction projects in the road, path and cycle path network or when new building or commercial areas are to be developed.

Evasive flat
Sometimes they are also on duty in the city. One example is the old baywa site in ebelsbach, where a supermarket is to be built in the near future. The land has been fallow for a long time, so the task for lipp and husslein was to check whether any animal or plant species had settled there that needed to be protected. This was indeed the case: the sand lizard has found a home there. For the nature conservation authorities, this was a rather uncomplicated case, as the reptile has sufficient escape space in the nearby railroad station s area. In addition, the builders will have to create rock piles on the redesigned site so that the lizard can make its home there again when the construction work is finished.

In trench construction, this can sometimes be a bit more complicated. If, for example, a road runs directly through the habitat of a tree frog population, the first question for manfred husslein and ludwig lipp is: can the construction project be avoided?? Or rather, there is a possibility to avoid the amphibian troughs? Or: is a less intensive intervention possible?? In addition, it is taken into account who wants to build here. In the case of roads and paths, this is usually the state, and there is a "public interest" in connection with it the project, so that the construction is approved sooner or with fewer conditions than if it were a private project. In any case, the environmental protection experts will ensure that "a replacement habitat is created for the tree frog", says lipp. Before the construction project begins. Once the frogs have been relocated, the actual project can be implemented.

The costs for the relocation are paid by the project sponsor. This is what the law on the protection of species stipulates, and the process is called "special species protection assessment", SAP for short, and it has been around since 2008. It doesn't just create friends, says husslein. "Of course, it costs additional money and time. But in the end, it is a matter of complying with the requirements of the law. And that this is also worthwhile is shown by the example of the main meadows near ziegelanger, where about five years ago a compensation area was created for the construction of the bypass around the city of zeil as well as a shopping market there and the expansion of the port. There is a floodplain forest developing in the floodplain, and there are flat areas planted with sandy grasslands that are home to numerous species of insects. The flora and fauna there develop magnificently.

Wind turbines in the forest
With projects such as the planned construction of several wind turbines in the forest near sailershausen (wk 88), husslein and lipp will once again step up to the plate. Whether, for example, the evening swift mentioned at the beginning of this article is roosting there, will only be examined in more detail when possible sites for the wind turbines have been identified. A biologist will then determine where certain animal species settle and what measures are necessary to protect them. Some bat species do not even fly as high as the common swift, so a wind turbine is relatively unproblematic for them. In the case of the common swift, it is necessary to check its migration routes and whether they pass through a potential wind turbine area.

Sensors in the windmill
One way to protect the bats is to use ultrasonic sensors on the wind turbine to measure the activity of the nocturnal and evening animals. According to lipp, the animals do not fly in strong winds anyway, so the wind turbine could go into operation. If the sensors register strong bat activity, an automatic shutdown system could stop the wind turbine so as not to endanger the animals. Other animals, such as the red kite, must also be taken into consideration (does it have its nesting place in the vicinity of the?), and even afterwards, when projects have already been realized, the authorities check whether the species protection goals have been achieved.

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