Rye Park Wind Farm: An Ecological Study

Since 2018, Umwelt has worked with Tilt Renewables to deliver a range of ecological and consulting services for their state and federally approved Rye Park Wind Farm project.

The project.

A Bird and Bat Adaptive Management Plan to establish baseline monitoring levels was required as part of the state approval for the project.

Commencing in Spring 2018, we worked with Tilt Renewables to conduct their Bird and Bat Adaptive Management Plan, undertaking a thorough and extensive collation of baseline monitoring data, including a range of fauna ecological surveys across all seasons of the year.

How we engaged the project.

Umwelt consulted with the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) and the Department of Planning and Environment (now the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment) to finalise the necessary survey components and details prior to undertaking the works.

These survey components were many and varied and included: bird utilisation surveys, raptor vantage point surveys, nocturnal surveys for forest owls, targeted transects for superb parrot, and microbat surveys using Anabat echolocation recorders.

Multiple Anabat units were installed to collect data at ground and height levels throughout the Rye Park Wind Farm project area, including at heights within the proposed rotor-sweep area. We were able to achieve this by using pre-installed pulley systems to position microphones on existing meteorological masts.

We also consulted with OEH to determine the migration period of the threatened Eastern Bentwing Bat (Miniopterus orianae oceanensis) – as surveyance of this event was a key requirement of the survey program.

The results.

With the field surveys now completed, the process of data entry and compilation has begun. After completion, large volumes of bat call data will then be analysed.

The results of the Bird and Bat Adaptive Management Plan will inform the future operations of the Rye Park Wind Farm, leading to appropriate management of potential threats to these species.