New guidelines transitional arrangements

The guidelines are applicable from 8th June 2020. All bat monitoring appointments for potential WEFs being made on or after this date must follow the latest edition of the guidelines. If a proposal process has been completed and a consultant has been appointed according to the previous version but has not yet commenced with the work, the consultant should be allowed to revise their proposal, if necessary. For studies that are only two months or less into the fieldwork, the specialist must assess how the new guidelines affect their scope of work and have the necessary discussions with the developer on whether any changes are required.

For studies that are more than two months into the fieldwork, the studies can continue according to the previous guideline edition.


Monitoring gaps due to COVID-19 lockdown

We are aware that some specialists may have gaps in monitoring data due to the COVID-19 lockdown. The panel has discussed this matter and our position is as follows:

Assuming 1 March or 15 March 2020 was the beginning of your autumn monitoring period, we hope that you would have managed to obtain some static recordings for autumn until the memory cards on the detectors filled up. As COVID-19 is no one’s fault, we do not feel it is fair to insist that monitoring projects be delayed for another year to cover the gap in data. Therefore, if you have obtained at least 2 weeks of autumn data or more, we believe it is reasonable for you to complete your monitoring report with the data you have and to extrapolate either from similar monitoring projects nearby or to take a precautionary approach to your assessment for autumn due to the lack of data and also due to autumn being a period of high activity and fatality at some sites. In extreme cases where no data are available for autumn, please contact SABAAP and we will try and assist with recommendations on a way forward.

Guidelines

Pre-construction Monitoring for wind energy is the survey of an area at planning stage to try and limit turbines to those areas which will kill least bats.

To view the SA Good Practice Guidelines for Pre-construction Monitoring, click here.

Operational Monitoring for wind energy is the survey of wind farms to look for dead and injured bats to estimate the impact of the wind farm on the environment.

To view the SA Good Practice Guidelines for Operational Monitoring, click here.

For the Mitigation Guidance document, click here.

Thresholds are the maximum number of bats that can be killed before their conservation status or the ecosystem services they provide to the environment are severely affected. Because so little is known of fecundity rates, migration routes, or population numbers this is a difficult area and is the subject of ongoing discussion.

To view the SA Bat Fatality Threshold Guidelines for Operational Wind Energy Facilities Edition 2: October 2018, click here.

If you would like to comment on any of the guidelines please contact chair@sabaa.org.za or info@sabaa.org.za.