FRANCE - A royal eagle was killed early August after a collision with a wind turbine blade in Joncels, Herault. The bird, equipped with a GPS, has been part of a protected species since 1976, as are all species of raptors in France.
In June, the association France Nature Environnement (FNE) had evoked the discovery since 2012 of the corpses of 30 falcons kestrels on the causse of Aumelas. It estimates the number of dead birds to be about 100. "As a protected species, their destruction is a criminal offense," the association said.
EDF, the project developer, was summoned to court where the court ordered EDF Energies Nouvelles, manager of the wind farm in Aumelas, and the companies owning the wind turbines, to appear before the Tribunal de Grande Instance (TGI) in Nanterre.
It wishes to obtain compensation for the damage suffered as a result of the destruction of over 100 falconer kestrels. "FNE is not opposed to the development of the wind industry, however such development must not be at the expense of natural habitats, or at the cost of ignoring our environmental rules," the association concludes.
In 2013, as a result of the first cases of death, EDF set up detection and scaring systems on wind turbines. The DTBird system is based on automated visual recognition of aerial targets. "It can be coupled with deterrence, shutdown or collision detection modules," says the national wind-diversity program.