Impact on Wildlife
Note: counts do not include items in sub-categories
Birds are in big trouble in North America. A recent study found 127 species of neotropical migratory birds are in decline. How badly? The Black-chinned Sparrow population has fallen 89 per cent over the past 40 years, the Cerulean Warbler is down 83 per cent, and Sprague's Pipit population has declined by 81 per cent.
So drastically have overall migratory bird populations fallen that one scientist who compared weather satellite images over time, found that migrating bird flocks were 50 per cent smaller than they were several years ago.
Last week in Washington, Congress began hearings into the crisis and there were calls on the government to boost funding to the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act.
The company is seeking an incidental take permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and has prepared a draft habitat conservation plan and environmental assessment to minimize the effects on the endangered Hawaiian petrel ('ua'u), the endangered Hawaiian stilt (ae'o), the endangered Hawaiian hoary bat ('ope'ape'a), and the threatened Newell's shearwater ('a'o).
Six of the seven 165-foot towers already have been built on land owned by Castle & Cooke. The company plans to build the remaining tower and operate all seven for a period of up to two years to collect data on wind patterns, according to permit documents.
Earlier today German Radio reported that an unusually large number of dead whales have washed up on the North German Baltic beaches over the last 2 weeks.
Now some believe that a newly installed Baltic 1 offshore windpark consisting of 21 2.3-MW turbines may be responsible, according to reports.
The owner of Laurel Caverns told the Fayette County Zoning Hearing Board Wednesday that if a special exception is approved to allow windmills to be constructed in Georges and Springhill townships, it could result in the site of the most killings of bats in the United States.
David Cale said the site holds that potential, although he acknowledged under questioning that it is unknown if that actually would occur. The largest measured annual bat kill was in 2003 when 2,000 bats were killed at a windmill site in West Virginia. ...Enfield previously said although the turbines may have a significant impact on bats, most of the bats are migrating, and steps can be taken to lessen the impact, such as putting a deterrent on the turbines to ward away the bats.
Cale also spoke about the potential for "ice throw" of 425 feet, and pointed out that the towers can be seen from miles away and they would impact the view. ...Because there were numerous people in attendance who did not get to testify at the hearing, the board continued the hearing until 10 a.m. Jan. 30, 2008, when testimony in the matter is expected to conclude.
A Law lord has lost his fight to stop a windfarm being built next to his Perthshire holiday home.
Lord Hope of Craighead, a respected ornithologist, had argued 16 turbines planned for the hillside of Drumderg, near Bridge of Cally, would pose a threat to a rare and protected group of ospreys.
Yesterday, a Scottish Executive reporter dismissed his claims and allowed the £30m development to go ahead.
Lord Hope - who took his name Craighead from his cottage near Drumderg - had used 35 years of observations, all carefully documented, to show the planned windfarm would be on the flightpath between the nesting and feeding sites of ospreys, putting the birds at risk.......
His records were never disputed. But scientists employed by Scottish and Southern, the electricity giant behind the windfarm plans, said they did not endanger the birds.
The independent reporter, Malcolm Malony, agreed. "I'm satisfied," he said in his report, "that the osprey collision risk is low and is not such as to justify refusal of the proposal."
A House committee chairman from a coal-producing state backed away Wednesday from requiring regulations for the wind energy industry to protect birds and bats, rules the industry said would halt development of wind farms as an alternative to coal.
Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick Rahal, D-W.Va., had put into an energy bill a requirement that the Interior Department regulate the siting and operation of energy wind turbines to ensure the safety of wildlife.
His action unleashed intense lobbying by the wind industry and renewable energy advocates, who argued that such restrictions would stop wind farm development at a time when wind is viewed as the most viable renewable alternative to fossil fuels and nuclear power for producing electricity.
Environmentalists and three Nevada residents are suing the Interior Department over its approval of the Searchlight Wind Energy Project, arguing the wind farm would sit in an area of the Mojave Desert that would cause widespread damage to sensitive wildlife habitat.
"Despite very significant and unknown environmental and cultural impacts, and against the advice of several sister agencies and its own personnel, BLM refused to conduct the full environmental analysis required by the National Environmental Policy Act. Instead, under pressure from high-level BLM officials and the industry proponent, BLM rushed through a short-cut analysis."
Plaintiffs charge that the project, to be built by Duke Energy, would (in the words of the suit) "pose significant adverse harm to a wide array of sensitive and protected species ... including desert tortoise, golden eagles, bald eagles, and residential and migratory birds and bats... through direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts" which weren't adequately addressed.
On May 8th 2007, eleven citizens' groups filed a Sixty Day Notice of Intent to Sue regarding the company NedPower Mt. Storm, and its corporate owners Dominion Resources, and Shell Wind Energy. The Notice alleges violations of the Endangered Species Act, involving the West Virginia northern flying squirrel, the Indiana bat, and the Virginia big-eared bat. The Notice also raises concerns about impacts to bald and golden eagles and migrating birds that are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
The citizens' groups are demanding that the industrial wind corporation apply for an incidental take permit, and modify or stop construction of this project, before irreparable harm is done to West Virginia's natural heritage.
The 124-turbine wind farm being built by Rockville-based Beech Ridge Energy would put the lives of endangered Indiana bats, and other bat species, in danger, according to the plaintiffs -- The Animal Welfare Institute, Mountain Communities for Responsible Energy and David G. Cowan.
Plaintiff's witness Michael Gannon, a bat biologist and professor at Pennsylvania State University, said he is "very much in favor" of wind energy, but remains concerned that this project could have a devastating effect on the Indiana bat.
Wahl's attorney, Rick Porter, told the commission that only the county could protect the Wahl property, not the Department of Natural Resources.
He noted that the state report said the turbines would likely affect the habitat of threatened species such as the plains hognose snake and the ornate box turtle.
The nearly 100-page petition for rulemaking, prepared by ABC and the Washington, D.C.-based public interest law firm of Meyer, Glitzenstein & Crystal (MGC), urges the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to issue regulations establishing a mandatory permitting system for the operation of wind energy projects and mitigation of their impacts on migratory birds. The proposal would provide industry with legal certainty that wind developers in compliance with a permit would not be subject to criminal or civil penalties for violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA).
In a letter to the U.S. Department of Interior, American Bird Conservancy (ABC) called on the agency to suspend further consideration of a revised rule that would weaken protections provided to eagles pursuant to the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, by allowing private companies to apply for an unprecedented 30-year permit to kill these iconic species.
In a guest lecture Tuesday in a College of Law classroom, he clicked through dozens of PowerPoint slides, but he didn't need to read off of them to discuss the situation that's been on his mind for the past four years. Oil and gas power plants are increasingly stigmatized for their contribution to climate change, but the next big thing to replace them-wind turbines-are killing hawks, eagles and owls.
The presence of the furry creature and two-tailed invertebrate, among other forms of wildlife, are threatening to topple a proposed industrial-scale wind energy project in Highland Plantation.
The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife recently expressed its concern for the planned wind farm's impact on certain species.
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"This is work that should have been done 10 years ago when the first wind turbines were going up," Adams said.
Horton said lesser prairie chickens may be seen on wind farms, but studies have shown that they avoid vertical structures.
"If you're not producing little prairie chickens pretty soon you don't have big prairie chickens," he said.
he company behind plans for a massive wind farm on Lewis is further reducing its size following concerns over the threat to birds.
Plans to build the world’s biggest onshore wind farm on the Western Isles could be thwarted by European officials, who believe they breach laws protecting sensitive wildlife habitats.
The European commission believes that proposals to build more than 180 turbines on Lewis are flawed, because developers have failed to assess other less sensitive sites across Scotland.
The Lewis turbines, each more than 460ft high, would stretch for more than 25 miles through peatland protected under European Union conservation laws. The area is home to eight species of Europe’s most endangered birds, including golden eagles, red-throated divers and merlin.
After being twice urged to do so by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Liberty Gap LLC has volunteered to seek a permit for the incidental “take” of endangered species.
In doing so, the company has asked the West Virginia Public Service Commission not to consider its proposed wind energy project’s impacts on other wildlife.
But PSC staff has urged the commission to deny that request.