Wind Power News: Wildlife
These news and opinion items are gathered by National Wind Watch to help keep readers informed about developments related to industrial wind energy. They are the products of the organizations or individuals noted and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of National Wind Watch.
[On Thursday, 22 June 2017, the Bundestag amended the Federal Nature Conservation Act to allow wind energy companies to kill more bats and birds. (link)] Vor Weihnachten geht es alle Jahre wieder um Plätzchen und Pakete, Gänse und Geschenke oder Karten für das Weihnachtsoratorium. Da bleibt kaum Zeit im Kopf für anderes – wenn zum Beispiel eine geplante, höchst brisante Gesetzesnovelle zum Bundesnaturschutzgesetz (BNatSchG) ohne großes Aufsehen auf den Weg gebracht wird. Zentrale Belange des Naturschutzes sollen im Rahmen dieser . . .
The 32-foot carcass of a humpback whale washed ashore Friday morning after drifting west from Newport’s Brenton Point. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the Castle Hill station received reports in the middle of last week about a dead whale floating at the mouth of Narragansett Bay. Rescue workers and two veterinarians from Mystic Aquarium were on-site Friday when it reached land to collect genetic samples. A preliminary report indicates the whale is a male between 2-3 years old. As . . .
Forget mass protests. Sometimes all it takes to derail a major industrial project is an itty-bitty snake. About seven years ago, Finney County was on the verge of landing the Buffalo Dunes Wind Farm, a 250-megawatt project that includes 135 turbines that eventually spread over land in Haskell and Grant counties, until concerns raised about disturbing the habitat of the longnose snake pushed the project farther west. Lona Duvall, president of the Finney County Economic Development Corp., said the Sierra . . .
East Anglia News Service – Three whales that washed up on the Suffolk coast may have died after becoming disorientated by offshore windfarms, marine experts believe. The coastguard received reports of a minke whale calf that had become separated from its mother on Friday night. By the next afternoon it had been found dead at the mouth of the River Ore and its mother was found washed up near Felixstowe. Yesterday another dead adult was seen off the Harwich coast. They . . .
The global boom in renewable energy is posing new threats to birds say experts. At the UN climate conference in Bonn, researchers said wind turbines and power lines were a particular problem for migratory soaring birds. Shutting down wind farms on demand is one of the methods being tested to protect these birds from collisions. Other ideas being tried include placing highly visible deflectors every 20m on power lines. The Rift Valley and Red Sea flyways in Egypt are among . . .
How the tortoise became politicized; Energy developers, activists for threatened species still searching for a happy medium
The desert tortoise’s lobbyists are well-known to solar developers and the country’s largest utility. They have successfully battled wind farms and rancher Cliven Bundy. As a threatened species, the squat land crawler continually frustrates developers and engages environmentalists as a rallying symbol. After years of litigation, a Virginia-based company confirmed in late April that it was abandoning a project to build 87 wind turbines in Searchlight because of environmental concerns over the golden eagle and the desert tortoise. It’s typically . . .
Halting Swedish wind turbines at still summer nights would save almost all of the tens of thousands of bats killed by the rotating blades every year. Every turbine kills 10-15 bats annually on average as the creatures are struck when they hunt insects attracted by the spinning unit, according to a study by Sweden’s Energy and Environmental Protection agencies. Halting turbines on summer nights when winds are low would save most of the bats without a significant loss in renewable . . .
America’s growing wind sector may be easing the country’s carbon footprint, but it’s leaving a heavy imprint on local wildlife. According to the American Wind and Wildlife Institute, an estimated three to five birds are killed every year per megawatt of wind energy. And new research indicates that wind farms could pose a threat to land-dwelling species, as well. It’s a far cry from President Trump’s claim that wind energy “kills all your birds,” but experts say they are beginning . . .
How a wind energy facility is designed can influence the behavior of animal predators and their prey, according to a recent study published in The Journal of Wildlife Management by researchers at the University of California, Davis, and the U.S. Geological Survey. Scientists placed motion-activated cameras facing the entrances of 46 active desert tortoise burrows in a wind energy facility near Palm Springs, California. Video recordings showed that visits to burrows from five predators – bobcats, gray foxes, coyotes, black bears . . .
Right whales are gathering south of Martha’s Vineyard in numbers researchers have only begun to understand, facilitated by studies of the area in advance of the development of offshore wind farms. “We didn’t know about it,” said Scott Kraus, marine mammals chief scientist at the New England Aquarium. The Boston aquarium has just begun a one-year specialized aerial survey of the endangered right whales, other large whales, dolphins and sea turtles in federal areas south of the Vineyard that have . . .