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.
Wind turbine collisions and the deadly bat disease known as white-nose syndrome (WNS) can together intensify the decline of endangered Indiana bat populations in the midwestern United States, according to a recently published U.S. Geological Survey study. “Bats are valuable because, by eating insects, they save U.S. agriculture billions of dollars per year in pest control,” said USGS scientist Richard Erickson, the lead author of the study. “Our research is important for understanding the threats to endangered Indiana bats and . . .
As renewable energy production in the United States continues to grow, wind farms figure to remain a fixture of the Wyoming landscape in coming decades. The United States currently gets 5.8 percent of its energy from renewable sources such as wind and solar, and the U.S. Department of Energy has said it hopes to increase that to 20 percent by the year 2030. At the same time, scientists are still learning how wind turbines change the environment around them, perhaps . . .
Hawaii’s five major wind farms are killing endangered Hawaiian hoary bats at a much faster pace than expected. The wind farms have killed 146 Hawaiian hoary bats out of the 187 they are allowed. They’ve killed that many in 6.4 years while they were expected not to reach the total for 20 years or more. The wind farms have also killed at least 50 nene – the endangered Hawaiian goose and state bird – and 26 petrels, an endangered seabird. The state . . .
The once-endangered bald eagle has run smack into human progress. Federal regulators have approved a controversial proposal to allow the take, or unintended killing, of the protected birds without penalty, under a single permit issued for as long as 30 years. In contrast, a hunter killing an eagle without a permit could be fined $15,000 and jailed for six months. In other “take” cases, a permit is required for each kill. The loosening of permit restrictions is designed, like the . . .
Wind turbines at sea are a danger to birds of prey particularly during bad weather, a study has found. Buzzards, kites, harriers falcons and sparrowhawks were all attracted towards turbines – putting them at risk of getting killed by the spinning blades. Raptors are thought to prefer flying near tall structures during high winds during migration routes as they feel safer having a potential place to land during windy conditions, researchers say. The findings published in Biology Letters said birds . . .
The 46-turbine Cedar Point wind power project in Lambton County killed more birds of prey during seven months of this year than allowed by its provincial approval. The wind project is owned by Suncor and NextEra in Plympton-Wyoming, Lambton Shores, and Warwick Township, and began operating in 2015. As part of its renewable energy approval, granted in August 2014 by Ontario’s Environment Ministry, the wind farm operator is required to conduct counts of bats, birds and raptors, also known as . . .
Washington – The Obama administration said Friday it will allow some companies to kill or injure bald and golden eagles for up to 30 years without penalty, an effort to spur development and investment in green energy while balancing its environmental consequences. The change, requested by the wind energy industry, will provide legal protection for the lifespan of wind farms and other projects for which companies obtain a permit and make efforts to avoid killing the birds. An investigation by The . . .
Wind farms will be granted 30-year U.S. government permits that could allow for thousands of accidental eagle deaths due to collisions with company turbines, towers and electrical wires, U.S. wildlife managers said on Wednesday. The newly finalized rule, to go into effect on Jan. 15, extends the current five-year term for permits that allow for the accidental deaths of bald and golden eagles. The bald eagle is the national emblem of the United States. The permits, which are meant for . . .
The Obama administration on Wednesday finalized a that lets wind-energy companies operate high-speed turbines for up to 30 years – even if means killing or injuring thousands of federally protected bald and golden eagles. Under the new rule, wind companies and other power providers will not face a penalty if they kill or injure up to 4,200 bald eagles, nearly four times the current limit. Deaths of the more rare golden eagles would be allowed without penalty so long as companies . . .
Lord Kinclaven’s judgment, issued yesterday, permits the construction of Tullymurdoch Wind Farm, one of the last remaining wildcat territories. There may be as few as 10 pure Scottish wildcat females still in existence. These last few sisters may leave no useful progeny. They seem doomed to succumb to hybridisation (queens will only mate other felines if no male wildcat male is available), competition for food, and destruction of habitat for commercial gain. Yesterday’s judgment may be the death knell for . . .