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Wind Power News: Wildlife

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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.


February 4, 2018 • ArizonaPrint storyE-mail story

Bat, eagle deaths at wind farm prompt federal probe

The U.S. Department of Justice is reviewing a criminal investigation of a wind-energy farm in southeastern Arizona to determine whether prosecution is warranted in the deaths of a federally protected golden eagle and an endangered bat, according to federal wildlife officials. A monitoring report indicated that the 15-turbine Red Horse Wind 2 project near Willcox caused the deaths of the eagle and a lesser long-nosed bat during its first year of operation between July of 2015 and 2016, the Arizona . . . Complete story »


January 28, 2018 • ArizonaPrint storyE-mail story

Willcox-area wind farm under investigation for bat, eagle deaths

Southern Arizona’s only wind-energy farm is under a federal criminal investigation because its turbines killed an endangered bat and a federally protected golden eagle, law enforcement officials say. An endangered lesser long-nosed bat was among an estimated 2,606 bats killed in turbines at the Willcox-area Red Horse Wind 2 project in its first year, a monitoring report prepared for the operator shows. That’s more bats than the national, annual average killed at a wind farm, said Jim DeVos, an assistant . . . Complete story »


January 26, 2018 • U.S.Print storyE-mail story

Interior cancels decades-old protections for migratory birds

Duke Energy and PacifiCorp Energy both were prosecuted during the Obama administration for failing to take steps to protect birds at their Wyoming wind farms, despite the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s efforts to get them to do so. Under the Trump administration’s new interpretation, however, companies would no longer be prosecuted for failing to protect birds Complete story »


January 24, 2018 • EnglandPrint storyE-mail story

Risk to geese scuppers wind turbine

A wind turbine with a blade tip height of 58 metres sited close to designated areas of sensitive ecology for wildfowl in Lincolnshire was rejected by an inspector. The farmland appeal site lay just over 2km from an estuary designated a special area for conservation, a special protection area and RAMSAR site of international importance as a habitat for waterbirds and pink-footed geese. Natural England disputed the appellant’s assessment of the risk of birds colliding with the turbine being limited . . . Complete story »


January 20, 2018 • NorwayPrint storyE-mail story

Wild reindeer foil wind farm plan in southern Norway

Norway rejected construction of a wind farm on Friday over concerns it could harm wild reindeer in southern mountains that are home to the last remaining viable populations in Europe. The 120 megawatt(MW) project in Bygland municipality aimed to boost business in the sparsely-populated region, but it would be within a designated reindeer-rich national reserve, according to the energy ministry. Norway has almost 35,000 reindeer in its southern mountains, the last redoubt of sustainable populations of the animals in Europe, . . . Complete story »


January 18, 2018 • Oregon, U.S.Print storyE-mail story

Trump eases rules for bird-killing wind turbines, power lines

Lynn Tompkins peers down at a red-tailed hawk laid across a small exam table at Blue Mountain Wildlife’s clinic in Pendleton, Oregon. It’s out cold. “She was in very good shape until she got zapped,” Tompkins says as she removes the bandage on the hawk’s left wing, revealing a raw wound. The bird was electrocuted a week earlier near Boardman, likely the result of a run-in with a power line. Tompkins has helped rescue birds from all over eastern Oregon . . . Complete story »


December 28, 2017 • Colorado, U.S.Print storyE-mail story

Conservationists concerned for birds after rule change

If anyone is for the birds, it’s Polly Reetz, voluntary conservation chairman for the Audubon Society of Greater Denver. “People like to watch them. They like to photograph them. They are inspired by them,” Reetz said. But, she knows the reality is thousands upon thousands of birds are killed every year incidentally by energy companies. “For many years, waste pits from oil and gas fracking have been a problem,” Reetz said. “Power lines kill plenty of birds.” She says wind . . . Complete story »


December 24, 2017 • HawaiiPrint storyE-mail story

Wind farm seeks OK to ‘take’ more endangered bats

With the number of bat deaths rising faster than expected at its Ulupalakua wind farm, Auwahi Wind Energy is seeking government permission for the “taking” of more endangered Hawaiian hoary bats. A proposed amendment calls for increasing Auwahi’s take (a term meaning incidental fatalities of endangered species) from 21 to 197 through the end of the 25-year permit in February 2037. The state Department of Natural Resources has determined that a supplemental environmental impact statement is needed, according to a . . . Complete story »


December 24, 2017 • U.S.Print storyE-mail story

Trump administration reverses Obama-era policy on accidental bird deaths

The Trump administration, reversing an Obama-era policy, said it won’t prosecute oil drillers, wind-farm developers and others who accidentally kill migratory birds. The Interior Department said accidental deaths of those birds will no longer be considered a violation of a federal law meant to protect them, whether they are struck by a spinning wind turbine, vaporized by a solar array or sink in a drilling waste pond. The change is a victory for energy companies and developers that worried about . . . Complete story »


December 23, 2017 • IsraelPrint storyE-mail story

Wind turbines in Israel kill many more birds, bats than expected

Wind turbines cause significant damage to bird and bat life in Israel, beyond the level deemed tolerable by nature authorities. The Parks and Nature Authority is mulling measures it will ask turbine owners to employ in order to reduce the damage. Leaving aside 25—year old wind farm in the Golan Heights, there are two more modern wind turbine installations near Ma’aleh Gilboa and Ramat Sirin in northern Israel, which generate electricity. They are run by the Afcon business group in . . . Complete story »


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