This final version of the first-year survey of the wind facility on the Tug Hill Plateau in Lewis Country, N.Y., concludes that an estimated 2,200 to 4,094 birds and bats were killed by 120 turbines during the 5-month study period in 2006. Ignoring seasonal variability (as well as shortcomings of methodology), that would extrapolate to 8,580 to 15,967 birds and bats killed by the currently operating 195 turbines over a whole year. That’s up to 23 birds and 59 bats per turbine per year.
Ten tower sites were searched every day (obviously the most accurate method and the one giving the highest numbers of animals killed), 10 sites were searched every 3 days, and 30 sites were searched every 7 days. “Incidental” (unscheduled) finds were ignored, searches did not extend into wooded areas or tall grass, and dogs were not used.
In adjusting the numbers of carcasses found for scavenger removal, search efficiency, and proportion of towers searched, the researchers (agents of Curry & Kerlinger, the industry’s favorite bird surveyors) clearly used a methodology meant to provide the lowest plausible figures. The scientifically established Winkelman and Everaert formulas are not mentioned and would likely have revealed even higher numbers.
The earlier draft version is available here at National Wind Watch for comparison.
This article is the work of the author(s) indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.
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