Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Birds strike a blow for wind farms

Signs like this seem to popping up all over the country
Back on the 30th June I blogged about the rare White-throated Needletail that met its demise following a collision with a wind turbine on Harris, in the Outer Hebrides. Well, maybe this is much more of a common happening than previously thought, as new research from the United States indicates that bird deaths from wind farm collisions may have been underestimated by up to a massive 30 per cent!
A new study just published in the United States has estimated that around 573,000 birds were killed by wind turbines in 2012 (including 83,000 birds of prey), an increase of 30 per cent on a previous estimate by the US fish and Wildlife Service in 2009. Bats are even worse hit, says author K Shawn Smallwood, and probably top 888,000 killed per year.

Clearly this has serious implications for the renewable energy industry, which bases much of its investment and publicity on the safety and environmental sustainability of the machines. Smallwood also believes his figures are underestimated, owing to the incompleteness if reports of bird and bat deaths from different states, in particular Texas.
As I travel around the UK countryside, there does seem to be an increasing number of posters against more of these wind farms being erected and these sort of numbers coming out of the States can only add to the dislike of these turbines.  

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps the birds will learn to avoid or fly through the turbines over time? Hedgehogs appear to have learnt how to be road wise - you rarely see a dead hedgehog on the road now.