Articles filed under Impact on Bats from New York
Two studies Apex Clean Energy is planning to provide to help assess how its Galloo Island Wind project could affect bats are inadequate for determining the potential impacts, argues avian advocate Clifford P. Schneider.
Jefferson County Planning Board member Clifford P. Schneider claimed that Apex Clean Energy failed to address the potential number of birds and bats that could die from colliding with their turbines’ blades and rotors for its proposed Galloo Island Wind Farm. He requested that the developer should conduct a radar study in 2017 to determine that statistic.
While the Galloo Island Wind Farm project seems to be moving slowly along, I am writing on behalf of those who cannot, the birds. Very close to Galloo Island is 43-acre Little Galloo Island. This, along with Gull Island and two small sites on Galloo Island, is designated the "Lake Ontario Bird Conservation Area" by the state Department of Environmental Conservation. These islands are one of the premier colonial waterbird nesting areas in North America. On Little Galloo is found probably the largest colony of ring-billed gulls in North America. Also found there is one of just two confirmed nesting sites in New York state for Caspian terns.
Wind energy developers in New York now have guidelines on how to survey potential turbine sites for their impact on birds and bats. Earlier this month, the state Department of Environmental Conservation issued its advice regarding how to minimize damage to bat and bird habitats. "These guidelines set forth DEC's recommendations to commercial wind energy developers on how to characterize bird and bat resources at on-shore wind energy sites and how to estimate and document impacts resulting from the construction and operation of these projects."
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Pete Grannis today announced that the agency has issued guidelines for evaluating the potential impacts of commercial wind energy projects on birds and bats in New York State. "While wind energy has significant environmental benefits when compared to energy produced from fossil fuel, DEC must consider any potential negative environmental impacts of wind energy production when evaluating proposed projects," said Commissioner Grannis.
Iberdrola Renewables is considering options for Horse Creek Wind Farm about two weeks after it told the Clayton Planning Board it was suspending its application. While the company insists it was an internal decision, its representative did admit that the nearby Indiana bat population was a consideration. Indiana bats are an endangered species and there is a hibernation spot near the proposed wind project. The bats also have been affected by white nose syndrome, the mysterious ailment that has killed thousands of bats. The loss of the endangered species to disease has made federal wildlife experts even more sensitive to losses induced by man.
With the numerous issues that building a wind farm raises for residents, the environment is always near the top of the list. In the case of the Horse Creek Wind Farm, which would be located in the Town of Clayton and the Town of Orleans, its the reason the project is going into a temporary suspension. The plight of the Indiana Bat and how wind farms can affect them is not a new issue for other wind farms in the nation, but it has been brought into serious contention for the Town of Clayton and the state since the bats are dying off in New York and no one is sure why. ...According to the DEC, "in New York, knowledge of (the bats) distribution is limited to known wintering locations-caves and mines in which they hibernate. There are eight hibernacula currently known in Albany, Essex, Warren, Jefferson, Onondaga and Ulster Counties." Until the DEC can figure out what is happening with the bats, the Horse Creek Wind Farm project is suspended.
Bats are dying off by the thousands as they hibernate in caves and mines around New York and Vermont, sending researchers scrambling to find the cause of mysterious condition dubbed "white nose syndrome." The ailment - named for the white circle of fungus found around the noses of affected bats - was first noticed last January in four caves west of Albany. It has now spread to eight hibernation sites in the state and another in Vermont. Alan Hicks, a bat specialist with New York's Department of Environmental Conservation, called the quick-spreading disorder the "gravest threat" to bats he had ever seen. Up to 11,000 bats were found dead last winter and many more are showing signs illness this winter. One hard-hit cave went from more than 15,000 bats two years ago to 1,500 now, he said.
In response to information about a mysterious illness that has been associated with the deaths of more than 8,000 bats, conservation groups today asked the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to close all bat hibernation sites and withdraw all federal permits to “take” — that is, harm or kill — imperiled bats until the cause of the deaths is understood. One species of bat that is at risk is the endangered Indiana bat. While details are limited, scientists have given the name “white-nose syndrome” to describe a Fusarium mold that is exhibited around the dead bats’ noses. The syndrome is associated with the discovery of thousands of dead bats in at least two Albany, New York-area caves last winter. ...The Indiana bat is one of the most endangered terrestrial mammals in the world.
Guidelines meant to facilitate wind power development across New York state while minimizing the potential impacts to birds and bats were proposed Thursday by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, DEC. Currently, six wind farms are operating with a rated capacity of 423 megawatts from 263 turbines in Madison, Wyoming, Lewis and Erie counties. ...During the environmental review process, wind energy proposals must include assessments of the impacts the project could have on wildlife - especially birds and bats - and other natural resources. In the past, these assessments have been completed on a case-by-case basis. The draft guidelines suggest that before expending a lot of effort to site a wind energy project, developers should determine whether or not the location is within the habitat of a bird or bat species that is listed as threatened or endangered.
State environmental officials want wind energy developers to pay closer attention to how their projects will affect birds and bats. The Department of Environmental Conservation proposed a set of guidelines to promote wind power and minimize the danger to birds and bats. Developers have been required to analyze how wind projects would affect wildlife before they are allowed to build and the new guidelines will standardize that review.
Before everyone becomes too hyped up about the wind turbines, we need to take a serious look on how they will affect local wildlife. It is no secret that the spinning turbine blades have been responsible for killing birds and bats worldwide. Bats have been especially prone to colliding with the blades - thousands are believed to be killed annually in the U.S., with the majority being threatened species. It is believed by some experts that the wind turbines emit an ultrasonic frequency that confuses bats and predatory birds, possibly even attracting them to the turbines. More recently, bat biologists have reported that the turbines have been placed in migratory paths, further increasing bat kills. Studies have revealed that the deaths in question occurred only when the turbines were in operation.
Additionally, according to the National Wildlife Federation, wind-powered turbines could pose a threat to Indiana bats and other bat species, as well as birds. Some studies suggest the turbines might account for thousands of dead bats and birds yearly, the federation says.
More consideration and belief need to be given to the vast research that has been done regarding the impact of wind turbines on our environment before decisions are made again that will profit a few and harm many.
News of a recently released consultants' study that found 123 birds and 326 bats dead - during a five-month period last year beneath approximately 50 turbines on the Tug Hill Plateau - has him worried the impact may be even more severe on birds and bats than the study found. "It's not a good thing for avian life," Newhart said, adding he'd previously contacted Cornell University's ornithology department to check on impact turbines have. "I'm going to send this information out to Cornell to see if that engages them.
While generating megawatts of electricity, windmills on the Tug Hill Plateau in northern New York are also killing hundreds of bats and birds, according to a recent study. The Adirondack Council repeated concerns that wind turbine parks have been proposed in a virtual ring around the 6-million-acre Adirondack Park, saying the threat to migratory birds needs to be better studied before towers are built. "It's hard to justify this kind of bird and bat slaughter for the amount of electricity we're generating here," council spokesman John Sheehan said.
JOHNSBURG, N.Y. -- The views in the Adirondack mountains have inspired paintings, poetry, and songs for more than a century. Now, a debate over a proposed wind turbine project in the Adirondacks has divided conservationists over just how pristine those famous views should be.