EMEC - Billia Croo Wildlife Observation Programme

EMEC’s grid-connected wave test site is situated at Billia Croo, off the west coast of mainland Orkney. The Billia Croo Wildlife Observation Programme uses a methodology developed by Sea Mammal Research Unit Ltd (available in the data sources table below). Observations commenced in March 2009, and results to date have shown a diverse range of marine birds observed throughout the year, varying with the seasons. Harbour seals are scarce at the site, with the majority of seal sightings being of grey seals. Most cetacean sightings have occurred in late summer, with harbour porpoise being the most frequently sighted cetacean.

A power analysis of the first year’s data was undertaken by SMRU Ltd in 2010 and a first-stage analysis of the data up until June 2010 has been carried out by Scottish Natural Heritage (Robbins, 2011). The processed data used for this first-stage analysis by SNH and the reports are available for download from the table below.

The collection of wildlife observation data at Billia Croo was funded by the Scottish Government until 31 October 2015.  Extensive analysis of the data set has now been completed. A report providing details of the methodology used and results is available from Scottish Natural Heritage (see table below).

Data Available

The Billia Croo wildlife observation data has been made available as Access databases. It should be noted that this is the raw data as submitted by the EMEC wildlife observers and, while a basic sense check has been undertaken, the data has not been subjected to any detailed QC, data cleansing, or pre-processing.

For further information about the land-based surface wildlife observation programme conducted at EMEC or queries regarding the data collected, please contact info@emec.org.uk.

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