I hate writing about these stories, but people should know whats going on.
“(Washington, D.C., March 28, 2014) American Bird Conservancy, one of the nation’s leading bird conservation organizations, is calling for a detailed reanalysis of a proposed wind power facility in Maryland that could prove to be the single most deadly project for bald eagles in the Americas. The Great Bay Wind Project is proposed to be located in Somerset County, Maryland, near the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay. “
The sub headline is: “Proposed Project Outside Washington, DC May Be Biggest Man-Made Killer of Bald Eagles Ever”
Shouldn’t it be: “Washington, DC May Be Biggest Man-Made Killer of Bald Eagles Ever“
Wind Farms have a license to kill.
(h/t Small Dead Animals – Best Canadian Blog)
James Delingpole has a good article on the corruption of The National Trust and the Royal Society for the
Protection Prevention of Birds.
“There’s a problem here and it’s so glaring it’s a wonder that the authors of the report were able to write this section without burying their heads in shame and wishing the earth would swallow them up as punishment for their intellectual dishonesty and positively Gorean levels of hypocrisy. The fact that they were capable of doing so speaks volumes as to just how out of touch with reality environmentalists like the ones who have taken over the RSPB hierarchy have become.
That problem – *exasperated sigh* – is this: if the RSPB is really concerned about the potential disturbance to wildlife of a few noisy lorries and drill rigs (which, let’s not forget, are only up for a short period, after which they are replaced by a silent extraction device called a Christmas tree), how come it’s so cheerfully complacent about the epic numbers of rare birds and protected bats which are sliced and diced (or, in the case of bats, barotraumatised – i.e. made to implode) by the industrial wind turbines which the RSPB not only champions but from which it benefits financially.
Yes that’s right. The RSPB – supposed guardians of Britain’s birdlife – makes hundreds of thousands of pounds in partnership with the wind industry, despite the fact that wind turbines around the world kill as many as 22 million birds every year, including rare and protected species such as America’s national bird the Bald Eagle, Whooping Cranes and Hen Harriers.
And how many birds does the fracking industry kill each year? Well, put it this way: the number is an awful lot closer to zero than it is to 22 million.”
I love a happy story (and a burning wind turbine picture).
“Plans for a huge expansion of the world’s largest windfarm, the London Array in the Thames Estuary, have been scrapped. The consortium running the project blame the abandonment of an additional 65 giant turbines on “various factors”, but especially the requirement for a 3-year study on the potential impact on birds. The Thames estuary site is a designated environmental Special Protection Area.”
Between 46 and 64 golden eagles would likely be killed every year by one wind farm
“Two conservation groups are urging federal regulators to slow down on approval of what would be the nation’s largest wind farm until more efforts are made to mitigate the impact on eagles.
The groups—the American Bird Conservancy and the Biodiversity Conservation Alliance—told the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in a 15-page letter released Wednesday that between 46 and 64 golden eagles would likely be killed every year by the spinning blades of 1,000 wind turbines planned by the Power Company of Wyoming.”
“But a recent Fish and Wildlife Service rule-making exempts wind generators from prosecution for causing eagle deaths for up to 30 years“.
Slaughtering Eagles will soon be legal thanks to Obama.
This is Shameful.
“The Obama administration is about to approve a rule that will ensure the death of golden and bald eagles for the next 30 more years.
Hundreds of thousands of birds die each year flying into the deadly turbine blades atop the soaring towers that compose wind farms.
The rule will give wind farms thirty year permits for the “non purposeful take of eagles-that is where the take is associated with but
not the purpose of, the activity.’’ The take of eagles is also a euphemism for the slaughter of them.”
A paper in the Journal For Nature Conservatism points out that the level of Red Kite deaths at wind turbines in German is very high. They estimate 308 deaths in 2012 out of 9972 individual Red Kites.
With the projected increase in wind turbines, and the fact it is young breeding pairs being killed, the whole population may be threatened.
“Mortality from collisions with increasing numbers of wind turbines is a potential hazard to raptor populations, but the actual effects on a population scale have rarely been studied based on field data. We estimated annual collision numbers for Red Kites Milvus milvus in the German federal state of Brandenburg (29,483 km2). A hierarchical model considering carcass persistence rate, searcher efficiency and the probability that a killed animal falls into a searched area was applied to results of carcass searches at 617 turbines. Collision risk varied significantly with season. The model estimated 308 (95% CrI 159–488) Red Kite fatalities at 3044 turbines operating during 2012, representing 3.1% of the estimated post-breeding population of 9972 individuals. Using the potential biological removal (PBR) method, mortality thresholds of 4.0% were obtained for migratory Red Kite populations. This level of mortality may be reached when turbine numbers increase within a few years. Since wind turbine collisions may affect Red Kites throughout the global range, a more detailed assessment of the actual impacts on populations is needed, especially because the PBR does not account for the predominance of adult birds among the collision victims.”
This is just awful. The Wildlife Society estimates 83,000 raptor fatalities at wind farms in the USA for 2012.
“I used national averages from hundreds of carcass placement trials intended to characterize scavenger removal and searcher detection rates, and I relied on patterns of carcass distance from wind turbines to develop an adjustment for variation in maximum search radius around wind turbines mounted on various tower heights. Adjusted fatality rates correlated inversely with wind-turbine size for all raptors as a group across the United States, and for all birds as a group within the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area, California. I estimated 888,000 bat and 573,000 bird fatalities/year (including 83,000 raptor fatalities) at 51,630 megawatt (MW) of installed wind-energy capacity in the United States in 2012.”
“WASHINGTON (AP) — A major U.S. power company has pleaded guilty to killing eagles and other birds at two Wyoming wind farms and agreed to pay $1 million as part of the first enforcement of environmental laws protecting birds against wind energy facilities.
Until the settlement announced Friday with Duke Energy Corp. and its renewable energy arm, not a single wind energy company had been prosecuted for a death of an eagle or other protected bird — even though each death is a violation of federal law, unless a company has a federal permit. Not a single wind energy facility has obtained a permit.
The Charlotte, N.C.-based company pleaded guilty to killing 14 eagles and 149 other birds at its Top of the World and Campbell Hill wind farms outside Casper, Wyo. All the deaths, which included golden eagles, hawks, blackbirds, wrens and sparrows, occurred from 2009 to 2013.
“Wind energy is not green if it is killing hundreds of thousands of birds,” said George Fenwick, president of the American Bird Conservancy, which supports properly sited wind farms. “The unfortunate reality is that the flagrant violations of the law seen in this case are widespread.””
(h/t Tom Nelson)
Have you heard about the funnel effect? It appears solar plants can draw in millions of insects and fry them. And then migratory birds drop in to eat the insects and the birds then get fried too.
“USFWS also noted an issue ReWire hasn’t covered before, and we suspect it has something to do with that funnel effect: the mortality of insects. The agency says the Palen solar project may have a serious effect on insects, based on experience at BrightSource’s Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS) site, now nearing completion in San Bernardino County. “Staff with the CEC reported large mortalities of insects killed during flux testing at the ISEGS site,” says USFWS. “[A]mong those documented include migratory monarch butterflies and dragonflies.”
A subsequent passage in the note on insects is an important summary of the relevance of insect mortalities to risk to other wildlife:
The ecological effects of mass insect mortalities have not been investigated
and may lead to greater levels of mortality than have been anticipated. In particular,
concentrations of insects are likely to draw insectivorous and omnivorous migratory
birds, including many raptors, which may increase the risk of bird mortalities.
If you have a facility that both attracts an entire food chain and then poses a risk of mortality or injury to individual animals at any level in that chain, then you’ve created an ecosystem-wide population sink that can metaphorically “funnel” individual animals from a wide stretch of habitat to a single spot where they meet their demise.