Impact on Wildlife
Note: counts do not include items in sub-categories
The state’s largest wildlife conservation organization commends the commissioners of Maine’s Land Use Regulation Commission for their 6-1 decision today to deny a permit for a controversial wind-power project sited in a high-mountain Western Maine area zoned for protection and home to rare wildlife.
“Today we have seen LURC’s commissioners take action for which all Maine citizens can be grateful: They have upheld the laws that protect unique, spectacular areas in Maine,” said Jennifer Burns, staff attorney and advocate for Maine Audubon.
Wiscasset is being considered for the largest energy development proposal - and potentially the largest development project of any kind - in the history of the state.
A Toronto entrepreneur who has developed Canadian wind farms has floated the idea of building a massive $2 billion underground hydropower station at the old Maine Yankee nuclear power station site.
The project would be one of the first of its kind anywhere.
The proposal raises questions about impacts on the Back River and groundwater, and it would use as much energy as it creates.
Shear Wind Inc., a Bedford wind developer, says it abandoned plans to seek provincial approval for a 50-megawatt project at Canaan Mountain, near Parrsboro, after government officials said a three-year moose-monitoring program would be needed.
It's wild, it's out there and it matters to almost everybody, even if they hardly ever see it. Scotland's remote and untamed mountains, moors and glens have been given overwhelming backing in a major new poll for the conservation agency, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).
Over 90% of people interviewed said they thought it important for Scotland to have wild places. Of the 1304 who were questioned, only six suggested wild land was not important.
More than 60% of Scottish residents said that action was needed to protect wild areas from being damaged by modern buildings, bulldozed tracks, mobile phone masts, electricity pylons or wind turbines. About 50% thought that wild places were under threat.
Scientists say man-made noise equipment, including anti-seal sonar devices used in fish farms, is driving deep-water animals such as whales to shore, where they die.
A northern bottlenose whale was washed up dead on a beach in Prestatyn, North Wales, on Saturday morning, the tenth of the species to become trapped or stranded on British shores this year. ...Northern bottlenose whales are acutely sensitive to sound, for like other beaked whales they use sonic pulses for hunting. The noise of oil exploration (which uses loud underwater explosions to help geologists search for undiscovered reserves), wind farm construction and shipping are all possible culprits.
The project today released the "Annual Report for the Maple Ridge Wind Power Project, Post-construction Bird and Bat Fatality Study - 2006" prepared by the consulting firm Curry and Kerlinger (May, 2007). The study concluded that "bird and bat fatalities found at the Maple Ridge turbines were within the range of fatalities found during late summer and fall migration at turbines in the United States."
A regional conservation group is pointing out where birds and wind farms might not mix.
A Playa Lakes Joint Venture mapping project shows the few remaining acres of habitat for the lesser prairie chicken and where playa lakes can draw large numbers of migrating birds.
"There has been a lot of interest from the wind industry, local and state conservation groups and state agencies," said Megan McLachlan, a geographic-information system analyst for the group. "We've gotten a lot of phone calls the last couple of months asking us to share the data. There's a lot of people working on the issue."
The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS) has condemned government plans to construct up to 7,000 new wind turbines along the UK coastline.
Wind farms pollute habitats through construction, maintenance and noise disturbance, the WDCS claims. The charity added that all developments in the marine environment, including wind farms, should be subject to rigorous environmental assessment before development is permitted.
After developing for weeks at sea, baby tropical fish rely on natural noises to find the coral reefs where they can survive and thrive. However, the researchers found that short exposure to artificial noise makes fish become attracted to inappropriate sounds. ...With human noise pollution from ships, wind farms and oil prospecting on the increase this crucial behaviour is coming under threat.
Conservationists filed suit Wednesday to block the start of Maryland's first industrial wind project, contending the turbines built atop the state's highest mountain in Garrett County threaten to harm federally protected rare bats.
Maryland's first two wind projects are facing mounting pressure from environmental groups that insist the developers are endangering the Indiana bat, a creature listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). ...Some environmental groups forced Chicago-based developer Invenergy to halt construction on a West Virginia wind farm because it failed to obtain an ITP.
There were three critical circumstances that tragically aligned in each of the three West Virginia events to kill these birds. Each occurred during bird migration season, during low visibility weather conditions, and with the addition of a deadly triggering element - an artificial light source.
Massive commercial power developments are being considered for existing and planned conservancy areas on the B.C. coast, raising doubts about a landmark multi-stakeholder agreement designed to bring peace and economic certainty to an area known as the Great Bear Rainforest.
"Premier Gordon Campbell is completely going back on his promise to protect this coast," charged Ian McAllister, the award-winning author and conservationist who coined the term Great Bear Rainforest and who now works under the banner of Conservation Pacific.
"This isn't world-class, this isn't a model we'd want to have any other region on the planet follow."
Infrared monitoring shows that savvy seabirds steer clear of wind turbines.
Uncertainty surrounding wind power's impact on wildlife--particularly the potential for deadly collisions between birds and turbines--has tarnished its image and even delayed some wind farms. Indeed, the first large offshore wind farm proposed for U.S. waters--the Cape Wind project in Massachusetts's Nantucket Sound--has been held up in part by concerns that its 130 turbines could kill thousands of seabirds annually. Now a simple infrared collision-detection system developed by Denmark's National Environmental Research Institute is helping clear the air.
The Thermal Animal Detection System (TADS) is essentially a heat-activated infrared video camera that watches a wind turbine around the clock, recording deadly collisions much as a security camera captures crimes. The first results, released this winter as part of a comprehensive $15 million study of Denmark's large offshore wind farms, show seabirds to be remarkably adept at avoiding offshore installations. "There had been suggestions that enormous numbers of birds would be killed," says Robert Furness, a seabird specialist at the University of Glasgow, who chaired the study's scientific advisory panel. "There's a greater feeling now among European politicians that marine wind farms are not going to be a major ecological problem, and therefore going ahead with construction is not going to raise lots of political difficulties."
Groups across Ontario are demanding that: Wind turbines that are offending must be removed, democracy must be returned, and an immediate moratorium must be placed on new projects, permitted and planned. Despite obvious and substantiated evidence that the Ministry knew of serious health complaints back to 2006, they continued to permit.
Several thousand acres of desert scrub land west of Rosamond may eventually be dotted with massive wind turbines if Kern County Supervisors support the project Tuesday afternoon.
The PdV Wind Energy Project, proposed by enXco, would use 5,820 acres to generate electricity for Southern California Edison. ...Between 100 to 300 turbines would be placed, and construction would be phased.
A Maryland developer has agreed not to build 24 turbines and will abandon 31 proposed sites at a West Virginia wind farm, settling a lawsuit by environmental groups worried about potential harm to the endangered Indiana bat.
Under the deal announced Wednesday, Beech Ridge Energy of Rockville will seek incidental take permits from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
But Dr Lucy Wright from the British Trust for Ornithology, who was not involved with the research, pointed out the limitations of the study.
"It only measures the avoidance behaviour of one species at two neighbouring windfarms and we don't know how the results would differ for other species or at other sites."
Its aim is to find out the migration routes, the heights and speeds at which the whooper swans fly, and the effects of weather conditions on the swans' flight patterns.
This data will then be analysed in relation to existing offshore wind farms positioned in the Greater Wash and East Irish Sea areas, as well as potential wind farm sites.
Of Wyoming's 15 resident bat species, three of them are most susceptible to the deadly effects of wind turbines: the hoary bat, the silver-haired bat and the eastern red bat.
They are Wyoming's only tree-roosting bats, said Douglas Keinath, senior zoologist with the Wyoming Natural Diversity Database.