Impact on Wildlife
Note: counts do not include items in sub-categories
Environmental groups and residents of Nevada have filed a complaint in U.S. District Court of Nevada challenging the Department of the Interior's permit granting Duke Energy permission to construct an 87-turbine wind energy facility east of Searchlight on 19,000 acres of Bureau of Land Management land. Excerpts of the complaint are provided below. The plaintiffs argue that Former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar acted in a manner that was arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion and contrary to law. The full complaint can be accessed by clicking on the link(s) at the bottom of this page.
The Wildlife Society's March Bulletin included this impacting paper by Dr. Shawn Smallwood who compares post-construction bird and bat fatality assessments conducted across the United States. He estimates 888,000 bat and 573,000 bird fatalities/year (including 83,000 raptor fatalities) at 51,630 megawatt (MW) of installed wind-energy capacity in the United States in 2012. As wind energy continues to expand, there is urgent need to improve fatality monitoring methods and address the levels of mortality.
William Staats is a wildlife biologist for the New Hampshire Fish and Game. He submitted this testimony before the State of Vermont, where he resides. Mr. Staats has direct experience with the impacts of industrial scale wind energy development on New Hampshire ridgelines. His testimony provides critical insight into the true impacts of the towers on the State's wilderness areas.
This recent paper offers important data on how birds use wind flows to aid in flight and how modeling wind flow across complex terrain can assist in siting wind energy facilities to reduce avian mortality.
The important report examines the impact of White Nose Syndrome on Indiana bat populations and the opportunity, if any, for the populations to recover. In addition, renewable energy generation has resulted in the erection of thousands of wind turbines in the midwestern United States, resulting in significant mortality of both migrant and resident bats. The abstract of the paper is below. The full report can be accessed by clicking on the links at the bottom of this page.
In this strongly worded letter sent to Heritage Sustainable Energy, the US Fish and Wildlife Service advises Heritage to table its plans to erect a commercial wind energy facility on the Garden Peninsula because of the high potential for avian mortalities and violations of Federal wildlife laws.
This letter of intent to sue was filed with the Department of the Interior and the US Army Corps in reference to a proposed wind energy facility to be built on Shaffer Mountain in Penmsylvania. Excerpts of the letter appear below. The complete letter and supporting testimony can be accessed by clicking on the links at the bottom of this page.
Unprecedented numbers of migratory bats are found dead beneath industrial-scale wind turbines during late summer and autumn in both North America and Europe. This paper by Paul Cryan discusses how conservation laws are inadequate for protecting bats.
This important document examines the possible impact of turbine noise on wildlife. The entire report, with references, can be downloaded by clicking on the link(s) at the bottom of this page.
This important letter details the inadequacy of the draft biological opinion prepared by the US Fish and Wildlife Service in reference to the proposed Shaffer Mountain Wind facility. An excerpt of the letter is provided below. The full document can be accessed by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page.