Articles filed under Impact on Birds from Europe
A public inquiry into plans to build a 53-turbine wind farm close to a prehistoric site on the Isle of Lewis is to open in Stornoway. ...Mr Oppenheim had originally hoped to build 130 turbines on the Eishken Estate, but agreed to reduce this to 53 following objections from RSPB Scotland over the possible impact on birds of prey in the area such as golden eagles.
"This is an extremely commendable decision by the Scottish Government that is absolutely right for Scotland. It sends a very strong message that in meeting our ambitious, and welcome, renewable targets we do not have to sacrifice our most important environmental resources. The Government has made it clear, in repeated statements on this issue, that renewables must be delivered, but not at any price.
Introducing a few mountain hares near Beinn an Tuirc wind farm, at a cost of £30 each, is certainly a cost-effective way of getting good publicity for ScottishPower (your report, 24 March), but the question is will it do anything for the resident pair of golden eagles? ...Put simply, a well-located wind farm poses little danger to rare birds, but I have seen no evidence to suggest mitigation is effective, except of course in generating good PR.
Britian's biggest conservation charity, the Royal Society fir the Protection of Birds, announced Wednesday (February 20) that is was about to start issuing maps of important bird-flight routes in the North of England to help planners decide the future sites of wind farms. The first map will cover Cumbria with others on Morecambe Bay and the Lancashire coast to follow. ... We could get these monsters in the Dales because we are ordered to have them by the European Union. Its bureaucrats never listen to what people say because they consider us a mere nuisance. But they do pay attention to the environmentalists. With a bit of luck, the RSPB will say that these plans would cause too much bird kill - and we Dalesfolk could be saved!
Wildlife experts have urged wind farm developers in Cumbria to be more aware of the potential risk to wild birds. The RSPB has issued a planning guide, which highlights areas that are home to species like the pink footed goose, whooper swan and hen harrier. The organisation said the move was prompted by the proliferation of wind turbine planning applications.
Plans for Europe's largest wind farm could still be approved if ministers and environmental agencies can be persuaded to change their interpretation of rules protecting wildlife, councillors in the Western Isles heard yesterday. Ministers indicated last month that they are "minded to refuse" Lewis Wind Power's (LWP) plans for a 181-turbine development on the environmentally sensitive Lewis peatlands, although a final decision has yet to be made. Developers have until 15 February to respond. Following a special meeting of Western Isles Council yesterday, a spokesman for the authority said: "There is determination to do what we can to bring to the Scottish ministers' attention the opportunity that is in danger of being passed up here." ...the council is challenging the government's conclusions and insists the interpretation of environmental rules is too strict. It
Wildlife has temporarily put a stop to plans for wind masts in two rural villages. Electricity company npower Renewables has been told to withdraw planning applications for wind measuring devices at Saxby and Horkstow over concern for birds. Npower must now carry out a bird survey, in order to determine whether the 70ft poles will present a threat to the creatures. The company requested permission to put up the masts last year. The devices measure an area's wind energy and help determine whether it would be a suitable site for wind turbines. But despite the interruption to planning procedures, a spokeswoman for npower Renewables said the company would definitely resubmit the request. "We have had to withdraw the application because the bird survey is likely to take more than eight weeks," she said.
Planners have recommended councillors do not oppose a proposed wind farm which has sparked concerns for wild geese and archaeological sites. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has objected to the 21-turbine scheme at Shebster, near Thurso. Historic Scotland said it would have an "unacceptable adverse impact" on ancient sites including cairns. The Scottish Government is consulting local Highland councillors, who will hold a hearing on Tuesday.
Environment minister Mike Russell has denied that Scottish Natural Heritage caved in to political pressure to withdraw its objection to a wind farm in west Caithness. The rebuttal came as a prominent local ornithologist claimed that an internationally important flock of geese would be endangered if the 21-turbine development on farmland near Westfield got the go-ahead. The controversial application lodged by Baillie Wind Farm Limited is the subject of a special Highland Council planning hearing in Halkirk on Tuesday. Mr Russell was challenged about the surprise removal of SNH's long-standing objection. ..."SNH have a stack of reports done by Stan of the area covered by the wind farm but none of that material appears to have been used to base their decision to withdraw its objection," Mr Craig said. "This is independent data verified over the years by an expert and they have chosen to ignore it - I think that is appalling."
Shetland holds almost half of Britain's breeding red-throated divers. A survey of breeding red-throated divers in Shetland, carried out in 1994, found only 389 breeding pairs, a 40 per cent decline since the previous full survey in 1983. Shetland holds approximately1.5 per cent of the British breeding population of merlins, approximately 20 pairs. Consultation is on going to reduce the impact of the development especially on the breeding red-throated divers, which are considered to be particularly liable to collision with wind turbines. ...In the words of the RSPB: "The RSPB views climate change as the most serious threat to birds and their habitats, and sees renewable energy as one way to alleviate this threat. However, it would be entirely self defeating to advocate building wind farms right in the middle of our most important wildlife areas." ...Anybody that thinks developments like this are acceptable obviously don't care less about the wildlife and natural environment around them.
Remember that the threat to birds is a very small (but highly significant) part of the whole Shetland windfarm issue. If we include the negative effects on tourism, house prices, visibility, noise, quality of life, peat disturbance, run-off, environmental quality, Shetland's wilderness - as well as debatable CO2 savings, the need for 90 per cent fossil fuel back up due to intermittence and the doubling of the price of electricity (Denmark experience) it is hard to understand how the project has got past first base. Last week at PM questions, an English MP succinctly summed up the situation with windfarms. He said 'windfarms are being opposed by local people but being imposed on them by the authorities'. This is exactly what is happening in Shetland. It has to be stopped.
Councillors have agreed to allow a Caithness renewable energy company to continue gathering wind data – but insisted on a special condition to protect birdlife. ...The condition aimed at safeguarding birdlife was suggested by Councillor David Bremner, Landward Caithness, who found support when he suggested that inspection of the bird deflectors on the mast should take place on a weekly basis as opposed to the three-month period suggested by the planning service. Mr Bremner said: "I am no expert but there is quite a lot of activity in that area, particularly when the whooper swans are migrating. I don't think it would be unreasonable to ask for a more rigorous condition."
A study involving whooper swans wintering on a Dumfriesshire reserve could have a major impact on new wind farm developments across Scotland. A total of seven birds have been tracked by satellite from Iceland for the BBC's Autumnwatch programme. ...WWT Learning Manager Brian Morrell said the study of migration patterns could help answer a lot of questions. "With a lot of applications for wind farms - up in the Western Isles there's a huge one planned for Lewis - they want to know what route these birds are taking," he said. "Are they going across the area that is going to be earmarked for these wind farm developments?
Some 51 per cent of African-Eurasian migratory raptor species have an "unfavourable" conservation status. John O'Sullivan, of Birdlife International, a global alliance of conservation organisations, said: "We have recently heard about the sad case of the golden eagle being poisoned in Scotland, but birds of prey face additional problems trying to settle in networks of suitable habitats along their migration paths. We know little about the status of raptors in Africa, and in Asia species are poorly understood." The main threats to the birds, Mr O'Sullivan said, were habitat loss, illegal hunting, power lines, and wind farm initiatives.
Birds of prey have been hard-hit by a variety of human induced threats including loss of habitat, persecution, illegal shooting and poisoning. Collisions with TV masts and wind turbines and electrocution on power lines have also added to population declines. Birds of prey are not prolific breeders which makes it hard for them to recover from losses and scientists believe that climate change will only add to the problems. Their position at the top of their food chain means they are an excellent indicator of the health of the ecosystem but unless there is an effort across borders and continents to help them their future looks bleak.
Government representatives and conservationists from China to South Africa will be among the delegates. Many of the bird losses are linked to habitat destruction, collisions with structures such as wind turbines and illegal shooting and poisoning.
A legal action was launched yesterday to halt a controversial wind farm rising where eagles currently soar. Environmental campaigners are seeking to have a decision to grant planning permission for the development on the Skye set aside by a judge. They believe the scheme at Edinbane, near Dunvegan, could have an impact on both golden eagles and the island's population of reintroduced white-tailed sea eagles.
A rare bird has been killed after getting caught in the blade of a wind turbine in Stirlingshire. The red kite, one of the rarest birds in the UK, was discovered at the Braes of Doune wind farm near Stirling. Wind farm owner Airtricity said the death had been "unfortunate" and added that it had carried out a risk assessment on the red kite population. This, it said, was done in consultation with other agencies such as the RSPB and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).
Golden eagles are gravely threatened by a £200m wind farm scheme proposed for the Hebridean island of Lewis, campaigners have warned. Three of the predatory birds a year could be killed in collisions with turbine blades - the highest mortality from any wind power project in the UK. The figures come from the developer's own environmental statement.
Concern about dangers to Britain's biggest birds of prey from windfarms came as 15 White-tailed Eagle chicks were flown to Scotland for a new comeback scheme. The youngsters, when able to fly, will be released in about two months in the first phase of a new project to restore this species to eastern Scotland where it was wiped out by human persecution almost 200 years ago. Now they [up to 80 more to be released over the next four years] and the new population in the Hebridean islands following a similar, post-1970s re-introduction project will face a new hazard - if they happen to move into areas well stocked with wind turbines.