Articles filed under Impact on Birds from Australia
A right to information report, recently released by the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, shows 59 eagles were estimated to die at the Cattle Hill Wind Farm in the state’s Central Highlands over the development’s first 25 years, based on the original proposal for a 100-turbine wind farm. Wind farm operator Goldwind Australia has since revised plans for a 48-turbine wind farm — 33 of which were completed last year.
Hamish Cumming will continue his fight in the Victorian Court of Appeal on June 15 as he seeks to have the $1.5 billion Golden Plains wind farm, planned for Rokewood northwest of Geelong, revised to about 130 turbines. Mr Cumming said buffer zones around brolga breeding and flocking areas near the Golden Plains wind farm had been applied incorrectly by developer Westwind.
In Tasmania, 10 new wind farms are proposed or under construction, adding to a number of existing major turbine sites, three of which have killed at least 37 eagles since 2002. There are fears the wind farm boom will push endangered species such as the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle, swift parrot and orange-bellied parrot closer to extinction.
Bird experts warned the latest deaths raised concerns about the survival of threatened bird species as the island state braced for a wind farm boom. “It’s very, very, very scary — wind farms are just bird mincers, eagle killers,” said Craig Webb, who runs a raptor refuge at Kettering, in southern Tasmania. “We have to do something to get on top of this.
A Tasmanian wind farm has killed three eagles in the past few months, and 37 eagles across its wider operations since 2002, amid fears 10 new wind farms planned for the island will cause extinctions. Woolnorth Wind Farms Holdings’ two sites in Tasmania’s far northwest have recorded the recent deaths of two endangered Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagles and one white-bellied sea eagle.
Peregrine falcons are one of the world’s fastest birds. They can reach more than 300km/h as they stoop on prey, knocking it out of the air to feed on it where it crashes to the ground. Peregrines are listed as rare across Australia and vulnerable in Victoria.
A wildlife expert has called for independent monitoring and studies into eagle deaths caused by windfarms, warning the problem is only going to get worse as the industry expands in Tasmania.
The size of Australia’s biggest proposed wind farm has been scaled back by about 20 per cent, in a decision the Andrews Government says will help to protect the increasingly besieged native brolga. Brolgas are threatened every way they turn in Victoria, an environmental effects statement about the proposed Golden Plains wind farm found.
And if the federal process works, not a single turbine will ever start slaughtering birds at Dundonnell. ...The (state-based) environmental effects study which gave the project the green light was a joke. Birds in general will be cut down by the turbines. They do end up turning occasionally; indeed when they really get going they can be very efficient bird killers.
Nick Mooney has a specific research interest in the bird of prey and said he believed only about one-third of bird deaths caused by turbine strikes across the state were recorded. ‘‘[Some] of those eagles were found by accident, so it just shows you that the monitoring is essentially inadequate,’’ Mr Mooney said.
Australian Ecological Research Services has estimated each of Macarthur Wind Farm’s 140 turbines killed about 10 birds a year. Eagles, falcons and other raptors make up to a third of the estimated 1500 birds killed each year at Australia’s biggest wind farm.
Hamish Cumming, a mechanical engineer and farmer whose Darlington property is near two other proposed wind farm projects, alleges incorrect information about the brolgas flocking and nesting near Chepstowe and Mt Gellibrand was knowingly provided to and accepted by the Department of Sustainability and Environment (now Department of Environment and Primary Industries), with staff gagged if they expressed concern.