What is this project about?

NatforWINSENT II - Nature Conservation at an onshore wind test site - is a multi-year BfN (German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation) project. The focus of the project is to assess the behavior of birds and bats at wind turbines, with the aim of deriving and testing mitigation measures for these animals.

One theory for the reason that bats are often found to spend time in the proximity of wind turbines is that they hunt for insects there. As such, the occurrence of insects at wind turbines is being recorded in order to investigate the relationship between bat activity and insect abundance at wind turbines.
The results are expected to help improve predictions of bat activity at wind turbines and thus optimize mitigation measures for these animals.

What does OekoFor do?

To record insect abundance, we developed an insect camera trap - the ecoPi:Bug - as part of the project. This allowed us to implement a non-invasive and low-maintenance method for recording insect abundance. In addition to constructing and installing the devices, we also analyze and evaluate the data.
Detailed information on how the device works can be found in our ecoPi:Bug portfolio article.

The aim behind gathering this insect data is to generate a baseline dataset of insect abundance, which can be combined with other data gathered as part of the project (bat activity & environmental parameters). Analysis of these data will clarify the extent to which there is a relationship between bat occurrence and the prevailing insect abundance at wind turbines.

  • An ecoPi:Bug installed at height of 100m on the measuring mast.
    © OekoFor GbR
  • During installation of an ecoPi:Bug on the measuring mast.
    © OekoFor GbR
  • An ecoPi:Bug installed on a utility pole.
    Here you can see the construction of the ecoPi:Bug with its power supply components attached on the side of the pole..
    © OekoFor GbR
  • An ecoPi:Bug installed on a tripod construction.
    A recording unit for bat calls can be seen above the ecoPi:Bug.
    © OekoFor GbR

More about NatForWinsent II:


February 2021:
  • The first phase of the project - investigations BEFORE the construction of the wind turbines - has already been successfully completed. The data collected so far are currently being evaluated.
  • The second phase of the project is in planning, i.e. after completion of the construction work, the investigations AFTER the construction of the wind turbines can begin.

Partners and Funding Organisations

The project is funded by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN). Dr Frank Musiol from the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) is managing the project. OekoFor GbR is a project partner of ZSW. The construction of the equipment frames used in the ecoPi:Bug was supported by the company Wagenblast.

Logo BfN Logo ZSW