Library filed under Impact on Birds from Canada
Clearly, this is a double standard. Syncrude faces fines of up to $800,000, while Wolf Island's bird and bat mortalities are accepted as part of the cost of going green. The oilsands get unfairly labelled as "bloody oil," but nobody complains about "bloody wind."
A recent study of bird and bat mortality at Wolfe Island's 82-turbine wind farm is raising concerns among environmentalists. An interview with Ornithologist Bill Evans explains the concerns.
"Shockingly high" numbers of bird and bat deaths caused by one of Canada's biggest wind farms should serve as a warning to planners of other projects that may be built in crucial wildlife zones, one of the country's key conservation groups says. ..."We should not be putting these farms in places where the risk is going to be high," he said. "It is a disaster that we can see coming." At the very least, turbines should be shut down at certain times of year to reduce bird kills, he added.
AltaLink has suspended construction work on its 240 kV power line linking Pincher Station with a substation in north Lethbridge to protect sensitive bird nesting areas. General construction work will resume in late summer. AltaLink expects to energize the line in October.
Bats and migrating birds -- some of them species at risk -- face the greatest threat from Grouse Mountain's green-energy wind turbine, according to an environmental report commissioned by the resort. The turbine's threat to dozens of species of birds could be mitigated by reducing artificial illumination ...But there might be no easy fix for bats attracted to the turbine and no way of knowing how severe the threat might be.
Although the turbine industry claims that turbines kill less than 1% of the bird population, the majority of these birds would comprise of the species related to birds of prey. And since prey creatures are usually only 10% of any animal population, this 1% claim suddenly becomes more of a concern. ...There's nothing wrong with green initiatives, but it's important to put wind turbines in locations that are logical for people, wildlife and the environment and not just because of a convenient power supply.
The people pushing industrial wind farms won't be too happy once this gets out, but one of their machines killed a bald eagle in Ontario last summer. The official cause of death: "Blunt force trauma," according to Scott Petrie, a PhD waterfowl biologist who says he was "privy to the results" of the autopsy. "They're trying to keep it hush-hush," he says of government biologists.
I wish I could write this story as a travel brochure for this gorgeous North American gem, but if the proposed prop-style wind farm is built here, right in the midst of migratory flyways and breeding grounds, there will be no reason to bring your birding glasses. Or your crab traps. ...Despite industry propaganda, bird mortality from such farms is alarmingly high, and worse, due to the placement of the farms, many of the casualties are endangered or protected species like Golden eagles.
Long Point Waterfowl is worried that the McGuinty government is flying blind when it comes to the development of wind power. The waterfowl study group has set aside $300,000 for a two-year probe of wind turbines and their potential impact on waterfowl in the lower Great Lakes. Long Point Waterfowl is undertaking the research to address gaps in its understanding.
The 500 ducks that died in the Alberta oilsands pale in comparison to the thousands of birds killed by cats or by crashing into Toronto office towers or flying into windmills, says Conservative MP Brian Jean. ...At the committee, he questioned federal officials about "how do you balance" 500 ducks who died in an oilsands tailings pond with 6,000 killed annually on Toronto skyscrapers and 200,000 caught in wind turbines.
It is with great· sadness that we have come to the realization that the "Mohawk Point Wind Farm" has virtually destroyed our backyard avian population. (Lowbanks Wind Facility, Haldimand County, Ontario) ...The only tenants in the nesting box and brand new $120.00 Purple Martin House will be sparrows. The constant drone of the turbine closest to us is, in my opinion, comparable to the sound of the heavy duty cycle on a clothes dryer. The drone continues non-stop, 24 hours a day, and it will be interesting to see how long the sparrows and starlings continue to put up with it.
It is time for Ontario to work with citizens and environmental specialists to establish guidelines for the careful development of wind energy (Who Could Object To Wind Power? - Nov. 25). There are some places where wind turbines simply don't belong. ...Build wind developments in the wrong places and the environment will be collateral damage.
Birds are in big trouble in North America. A recent study found 127 species of neotropical migratory birds are in decline. How badly? The Black-chinned Sparrow population has fallen 89 per cent over the past 40 years, the Cerulean Warbler is down 83 per cent, and Sprague's Pipit population has declined by 81 per cent. So drastically have overall migratory bird populations fallen that one scientist who compared weather satellite images over time, found that migrating bird flocks were 50 per cent smaller than they were several years ago. Last week in Washington, Congress began hearings into the crisis and there were calls on the government to boost funding to the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act.
An Amherst area resident is continuing his fight to stop a proposed wind farm on the marsh near the town. Jim Milner, who lives on the John Black Road, is preparing a submission to the project environmental assessment claiming that its existence threatens the future of the John Lusby Marsh as a wildlife habitat. "Wildlife is the property of the Crown so it is the duty of the province to protect wildlife, not sell to the lowest proponent bidder," Milner said in his submission.
Following a study of the movement of birds at a proposed wind farm site, the City of Summerside has reduced the number of turbines planned and changed their shoreline location. ...Two of the four turbines would go on the shoreline of Malpeque Bay, just east of Slemon Park. The site is recognized under an international conservation treaty signed in 1971, known as the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.
The field shown is one of many Canadian Tundra Swan migration areas. Thousands of these birds congregate annually as they travel between Alaska and the Chesapeake Bay. This Canadian field is marked for wind turbines.
Whooping cranes, one of the world's rarest birds, have waged a valiant battle against extinction. But federal officials warn of a new potential threat to the endangered whoopers: wind farms. Down to as few as 16 in 1941, the gargantuan birds that migrate 2,400 miles each fall from Canada to Texas, thanks to conservation efforts, now number about 266. But because wind energy, one of the fastest growing sources of renewable energy, has gained such traction, whooping cranes could again be at risk - from either crashing into the towering wind turbines and transmission lines or because of habitat lost to the wind farms. "Basically you can overlay the strongest, best areas for wind turbine development with the whooping crane migration corridor," said Tom Stehn, whooping crane coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Over the past several months there have been three notices in The Citizen regarding use of provincial lands for installation of monitoring towers to investigate the potential of wind energy. There have been similar notices in Vanderhoof for additional lands in that area. Taken individually, these seem not too intrusive, but cumulatively, looking at the big picture, the possibility of having one big wind farm, stretching from the south side of Cluculz Lake over to the area between Bednesti and Dahl Lakes, then across Highway 16 from Cobb Lake to Eskers Provincial Park - alarm bells start going off. I would like to embrace the concept of wind energy but I am really concerned with regards to the impact these possible installations may have on both resident and migratory birds.
Mr. Schneider, a retired biologist from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and a 38-year resident of Cape Vincent, provided these compelling comments in response to Canadian Hydro Developers' environmental review report on the Wolfe Island wind project. The first page of his letter is provided below. The full text can be accessed by clicking on the link(s) at the bottom of this page.
County Council narrowly agreed Wednesday to spend another $10,000 on new studies to make sure internationally significant bird, bat and raptor populations aren't harmed by looming wind energy projects. However, some councillors complained that the Jones Consulting Group of Oakville, which is doing the county's wind energy planning study, should have anticipated the need for the additional research. "I'm just a little disappointed in the whole process," said Leamington Mayor John Adams. He said he thought it was clear from the start that protection of birds, bats and raptors was going to be the major issue in the planning study.