Articles filed under Impact on Birds from Australia / New Zealand
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.
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.
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.
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.
The council and many residents living close to the proposed turbine site say the adverse effects on the nearest neighbours’ enjoyment of their properties were so significant the proposal should not proceed. Many of the concerns related to anticipated noise from the wind farm, despite the number of turbines having been reduced from three 90m structures to one 110m tall turbine. The likely harm to birdlife from the huge blades was also of concern.
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.
The orange-bellied parrot has a history as colourful as its feathers. It has been an unlikely player in some controversial debates, its presence famously halting the construction of a major wind farm. It is also one of Australia's most endangered birds, listed as ''critically endangered'' - one step above ''extinct''. There are fewer than 50 in the wild.
It stands to reason that if you build a wind turbine in a bird's flight path, the result will be lethal. If birds maintain a predictable flight path, such as an annual migration route, then it should be possible to avoid that flight path. But what if you want to build your wind farm between a bird's breeding place and its regular hunting grounds? That is more difficult.
"I'm all for renewable energy. What I am against is the threat to birdlife that will be present by the introduction of turbine blades in what is their migratory route. "How can Acciona say it has all the information possible when flora and fauna studies were done over a few short days, in drought.
Up to 192 birds are killed by wind turbines at the Waubra Wind Farm each year, according to new figures. The numbers were collected by multinational energy firm Acciona, which runs the farm, between 2009 and 2011.
When Adelaide University masters student Frank Wang surveyed residents within a 5km radius of the Waterloo wind turbines he found 70 per cent of respondents claimed they had been negatively affected by the wind development and the noise, with more than 50 per cent having been very or moderately negatively affected.
"We don't know exactly, but where the proposed wind farms will be is in superb parrot habitat, which is extremely vulnerable," he said. "The disturbance factor because of the turbines and the noise we don't know, but I don't think we can afford to take the risk."
They are the treasured town emblem which locals fear could be obliterated by the turbines of a wind farm. The people of Boorowa are afraid the bright green superb parrot - and seven other species of plants and animals, will be wiped out by a wind farm planned for the district, in the NSW Southern Tablelands.