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Rare red kite found dead at wind farm 'harmless to wildlife'

The carcass of the rare red kite was discovered at the Fairburn wind farm in Ross-shire. It was examined by a Scottish Agricultural College vet and was found to have suffered bruising and fractures consistent with an impact. ...Aedán Smith, RSPB Scotland's head of planning and development said: "Evidence suggests that the kite is most likely to have been killed by collision with a turbine.

Experts believe an endangered bird of prey found dead at a wind farm in the Highlands was killed after colliding with a turbine, despite assurances that the devices are harmless to wildlife.

The carcass of the rare red kite was discovered at the Fairburn wind farm in Ross-shire. It was examined by a Scottish Agricultural College vet and was found to have suffered bruising and fractures consistent with an impact. If confirmed it would be one of the first bird deaths in Scotland associated with a wind farm.

Aedán Smith, RSPB Scotland's head of planning and development said: "Evidence suggests that the kite is most likely to have been killed by collision with a turbine.

"The vast majority of wind farms do not pose any threat to wild bird populations, but poorly sited and designed wind farms can cause problems for wildlife."

Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) was given permission by Highland Council in 2008 for the 20-turbine 40MW wind farm, costing 50 million, and it began operating earlier this year. It was approved despite an objection from RSPB Scotland which believed the development represented a possible threat to red kites.

Since then, the charity has been working with the... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Experts believe an endangered bird of prey found dead at a wind farm in the Highlands was killed after colliding with a turbine, despite assurances that the devices are harmless to wildlife.

The carcass of the rare red kite was discovered at the Fairburn wind farm in Ross-shire. It was examined by a Scottish Agricultural College vet and was found to have suffered bruising and fractures consistent with an impact. If confirmed it would be one of the first bird deaths in Scotland associated with a wind farm.

Aedán Smith, RSPB Scotland's head of planning and development said: "Evidence suggests that the kite is most likely to have been killed by collision with a turbine.

"The vast majority of wind farms do not pose any threat to wild bird populations, but poorly sited and designed wind farms can cause problems for wildlife."

Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) was given permission by Highland Council in 2008 for the 20-turbine 40MW wind farm, costing £50 million, and it began operating earlier this year. It was approved despite an objection from RSPB Scotland which believed the development represented a possible threat to red kites.

Since then, the charity has been working with the site operators, SSE Renewables, to try to minimise the risk to the birds.

Mr Smith added: "We will continue to work closely with SSE and others to find ways of reducing the risk to red kites and other birds from wind farms still further. I hope that we will also be able to secure additional funding to help this threatened species."

The kite was satellite tagged as part of a monitoring project under the Eyes To The Skies project. Its flight path was being logged by RSPB Scotland as well as children from Aviemore Primary School, who adopted the bird and nicknamed it "Tweety Pie".

RSPB red kite community officer Claire Buchanan said: "We had been tracking its progress through its satellite tag and plotting its movements on our dedicated website.

"It is really sad that we have lost Tweety Pie and, of course, the children have been much saddened about what has happened. Any loss of a kite is serious because the red kite population on the Black Isle is already under intense pressure due to illegal killing."

A SSE spokeswoman said last night: "As soon as we were aware of this incident we notified the authorities, including the RSPB. Since then we have been carrying out extensive investigations into what caused the death of this red kite and how it ended up at the bottom of one of the turbines. These investigations are still ongoing."


Source: http://news.scotsman.com/sc...

JUN 25 2010
http://www.windaction.org/posts/26888-rare-red-kite-found-dead-at-wind-farm-harmless-to-wildlife
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