In 2018, HiDef partnered with DMP Statistical Solutions and Sue King Consulting to develop a stochastic collision risk model (sCRM) on behalf of Marine Scotland Science for seabirds using the R programming language.
Collision risk models are used to assess impacts on seabird populations in all offshore wind farms Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) and Habitats Regulations Appraisals (HRA) in the UK. Existing collision models were unable to properly incorporate variation or uncertainty in the input parameters into calculations of collision frequency, nor estimate the uncertainty around these values.
The first part of the project consisted of a needs analysis of all potential users of the application; the highlighted the need for a user-friendly interface for users, among other improvements on existing systems. The partnership designed a front-end application in R-Shiny for users without a knowledge of the use of R. The project also reviewed and optimised existing R-code for sCRM to address any bugs and improve its efficiency.
More information on the tool, including the tool itself, a user guide and a full report into the development of the tool can be found on the Scottish Government website.The new sCRM is currently in the process of being reviewed by the Statutory Nature Conservation Advisers and adopted as industry standard, updating the use of the earlier Band CRM spreadsheets. The tool is available online at https://dmpstats.shinyapps.io/avian_stochcrm/.