A wildlife artist from Crookwell, on the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales says the introduction of a new wind farm in the area will put a dent in the area’s bird population.
Cattle farmer Humphrey Price-Jones says the population of wedge-tailed eagles, in particular, is at risk.
Mr Price-Jones is alarmed by reports of bird deaths from wind turbines in other states, but can’t prove that similar casualties are taking place in NSW.
“Evidence can be collected from the Woolnorth wind turbine development, in Tasmania, in particular,” he said.
“The Tasmanian sub-species of the wedge-tailed eagle is endangered and that particular development is responsible for at least 17 individual wedge-tailed eagles.
“Once (birds) come into contact with a turbine blade, they are of course killed, but another problem that turbines cause for birds is the fact that they create eddies in the air.”
The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage’s south-east officer, Michael Saxon, said in a statement that overseas research indicated that a wide variety of birds were affected by wind farms.
“The majority of these studies report low collision rates on an annual basis.
“All proposed wind farms in NSW are subjected to a rigorous environmental impact assessment process, including detailed flora and fauna surveys.
“These studies are used to determine the most suitable layout of turbines in order to reduce the risk to birds.”
Mr Saxon says wind farms can be modified if birds are harmed.
“Such as switching off turbines at particular times of the day or seasons, or closing down turbines that are problematic.”
Eraring Energy manages the existing wind farm at Crookwell.
In a statement, the company said it has no knowledge of birds being killed by flying into turbine blades since the wind farm was constructed.
It said it conducts wind turbine inspection routines at least monthly and often fortnightly.