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Bid to protect sea ducks threatened by wind farm  

A politician has come up with a quacking reason to stop the Gwynt-y-Môr offshore windfarm development.

Darren Millar, Conservative AM for Clwyd West and the party’s shadow environment minister, claims the 200 turbines could have serious consequences for a nationally important colony of birds which was recently discovered off the coast.

The common scoter is a large sea duck which, due to declining numbers, is currently on the RSPB conservation red list.

However, up to 79,000 birds have been counted at peak periods on Shell Flat, a shallow sandbank in Liverpool Bay, making it one of the most important sites for scoters in the UK.

According to Mr Millar, experts fear proposals to develop the windfarm off the North Wales coast could have devastating effects on the colony.

“Erecting one of the largest windfarms in Europe so close to this nationally significant colony of scoters could sound the death knell for this special bird,” said Mr Millar.

“This site must be protected to ensure the long-term population of the scoter and its connection with the British Isles.

“It’s amazing that we have one of the largest populations of this bird just off the North Wales coast. We must do all we can to make sure it survives.

“It does call into question some of the proposed off-shore windfarms which are planned in the vicinity, and I have written to the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform to ascertain what measures are being taken to ensure the protection of the common scoter at this particular site.

“There must be a full assessment of the potential impact of Gwynt-y-Môr on this important colony before the windfarm application is determined,” he said.

By Judith Phillips

icNorthWales

28 January 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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