Wind Farms Must Think Of Birds And Bats

Wind farms get very popular since their work spares environment, but they can have bad impact on birds and bats. Ducks in Dakota, tanagers in Texas, grosbeaks in Mexico - all may be negativly affected by wind power.

A study by the National Academy of Sciences found that wind energy could reduce the energy sector's carbon dioxide emissions by 4.5 percent by 2020, Wind power also reduces global-warming pollution, so fossil fuel emissions will kill much more birds because of environmental impact.

Wind farms are able to generate 7 percent of U.S. electricity in 15 years, also wind energy costs cheaper than fossil fuel.

So it has less environmental impact than other kinds of energies, but at the same time it can be bad for birds. According to statistics wind turbines kill less birds than aoutos and building, but it can threaten whole flocks of birds especially in migration corridors. It is very important to be extremely careful while locating and regulating turbines.

"The first three rules of avoiding impacts with wind turbines are always going to be location, location, location," Mike Daulton, a spokesman with the National Audubon Society, said in a telephone interview.

A wind farm went up at the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area in California in the 1980s that has killed birds of prey like golden eagles, whose populations are still recovering from use of the now-banned pesticide DDT.

A wind farm in California Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area killed a population of golden eagles in the 1980s. The population is still recovering from that huge harm.

Texas is the home of tanagers, that can suffer from turbines. "I don't envision these wind turbines being like a giant weed eater chopping birds to bits," said Clifford Shackelford, an ornithologist at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. But the same tanager can suffer not only from turbines, but also from bad weather. And when the weather is very bad to the birds, the lights of the turbines help them find the right way to fly.

North and South Dakota are the home of water fowl populations, which can also appear at risk because of wind power.

Wind farms have 197 and 295 feet tall towers with blades that have diameters ranging from 230 to 295 feet. Most of the farms have hundreds and sometimes even thousands of that kind of towers., which can kill entire bird populations of migrating birds.

By Ruzan Harutyunyan for HULIQ

Comments

Submitted by Tom Gray (not verified) on
I'm sorry to say that there are a number of serious errors in this post. <i>According to statistics wind turbines kill less birds than aoutos and building, but it can threaten whole flocks of birds especially in migration corridors. It is very important to be extremely careful while locating and regulating turbines.</i> This is not true. There is no indication that wind turbines have <b>any</b> effect on flocks of migrating birds. It is also not clear that extreme caution is needed in siting wind plants. <i>"The first three rules of avoiding impacts with wind turbines are always going to be location, location, location," Mike Daulton, a spokesman with the National Audubon Society, said in a telephone interview.</i> "Location, location, location" is a good sound bite, and I would guess that it will be used a lot. I would just add, "But the truth is that the vast majority of locations for wind farms do not present threats to birds." <i>A wind farm in California Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area killed a population of golden eagles in the 1980s. The population is still recovering from that huge harm.</i> This is not true. Scientists have studied the wind turbines in Altamont Pass for years and have not determined whether the local population of golden eagles is being harmed. I'm not defending eagle kills, but the statement is incorrect. <i>Texas is the home of tanagers, that can suffer from turbines. "I don't envision these wind turbines being like a giant weed eater chopping birds to bits," said Clifford Shackelford, an ornithologist at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. But the same tanager can suffer not only from turbines, but also from bad weather. And when the weather is very bad to the birds, the lights of the turbines help them find the right way to fly.</i> This requires a bit of explanation. There is plenty of evidence that steady-burning bright lights on foggy nights cause birds to become disoriented and collide with communication towers. There is, however, no evidence that flashing lights on wind turbines create the same effect. (Wind turbines are required to have flashing lights for aircraft safety.) <i>North and South Dakota are the home of water fowl populations, which can also appear at risk because of wind power.</i> On the other hand, it is very rare for ducks or geese to collide with wind turbines. I'd say there is little evidence that this is actually a threat. <i>Wind farms have 197 and 295 feet tall towers with blades that have diameters ranging from 230 to 295 feet. Most of the farms have hundreds and sometimes even thousands of that kind of towers, which can kill entire bird populations of migrating birds.</i> This is not true. There is not a single case on record of a major migratory bird kill by wind turbines. Such kills have been recorded for communication towers, TV towers, and even the smokestacks of coal-burning electric power plants, but not for wind turbines. Why? Most likely because wind turbines are not as tall and do not have steady-burning lights. Regards, Thomas O. Gray American Wind Energy Association <a href="http://www.awea.org">www.awea.org</a> <a href="http://risingwind.blogspot.com">risingwind.blogspot.com</a>

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