Articles filed under Impact on Birds
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service got a little defensive in issuing the final regulations on eagle "take permits," or licenses to kill, saying the Obama administration's focus is to protect eagles, not to allow the wind industry to get away with unrestricted killings, according to the final rule published in Friday's Federal Register.
"Instead of balancing the need for conservation and renewable energy, Interior wrote the wind industry a blank check," Audubon President and CEO David Yarnold said in a statement. "It's outrageous that the government is sanctioning the killing of America's symbol, the bald eagle."
The quest for green energy brings with it a bloody downside for America’s national symbol.
In 2015, in response to the Service's previous 30-year eagle rule, ABC won a court battle to require FWS to follow the process required by NEPA ... As a result of the lawsuit, a federal judge overturned the former rule, agreeing with ABC that lack of public oversight during the 5-year reviews was a potential NEPA violation. “Unfortunately, this new rule again risks violating NEPA,” said Hutchins.
Michael Hutchins of the American Bird Conservancy said Wednesday that his group has “some serious concerns” that the new rule will not do not enough to sustain populations of threatened eagles. ...Permits issued by the government would be reviewed every five years, and companies would have to submit reports of how many eagles they kill.
Power Company of Wyoming could get two permits as soon as January if Fish and Wildlife gives final approval to the plan. One permit would allow removal of unoccupied eagle nests during construction of the first 500 of potentially up to 1,000 turbines. A five-year permit would allow up to 14 golden eagle deaths a year during operation.
Jefferson County Planning Board member Clifford P. Schneider, a retired wildlife biologist, said in a letter to the PSC that Apex Clean Energy used studies from the first Galloo Island proposal, filed by a different company, to minimize the potential environmental impacts of the project. And he attacked his former agency for altering report results to diminish their importance.
A Pratt County farmer has filed a suit in federal court seeking to prevent a new wind farm in Pratt County from starting up because of the risk he believes it poses to Whooping Cranes. Edwin Petrowsky, a former member of the Pratt County Zoning Commission, filed the suit Nov. 23 seeking temporary and permanent injunctions against NextEra Energy Resources.
A study focusing on three wind turbines in the Jura mountains in western Switzerland has shown that on average each one causes the death of 14 to 29 birds a year – almost triple previous estimates.
A national birding organization based in suburban Washington is working with northwest Ohio’s Black Swamp Bird Observatory again on a lawsuit to block the Ohio Air National Guard’s plan for a commercial-scale wind turbine along the western Lake Erie shoreline.
Black Swamp Executive Director Kim Kaufman and ABC's Michael Hutchins, director of the conservancy's Bird-Smart Wind Energy Campaign, said they support clean, renewable sources of energy such as wind power. But they maintain that "the Great Lakes are not a good place for large-scale, commercial wind energy projects," particularly in a region designated as a Globally Important Bird Area.
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.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) on Wednesday granted a five-year take permit for golden eagles at the 137-MW Alta East wind farm in Kern County, California.
Hutchins said studies conducted on bird collisions with aircraft provide insight to wind energy projects. What they find is that birds can see objects coming at them, but they don’t get the same chance to react with turbine blades turning during high winds at up to 175 miles per hour.
“Purdue is involved in trying to look at the genetics of these birds to figure out whether they are local birds that were born and hatched near the Altamont site, or whether they are birds from other parts of the country that are actually migratory,” said DeWoody. He said the numbers are alarming.
A mountain-top wind farm has been scrapped after a judge ruled the spinning blades could kill rare red kites. ... "There are important unknowns in this case."
A recent study of 183 DTE Energy wind turbines found that bird and bat deaths per megawatt is just above average compared to other wind parks in the Midwest.
Many environmentalists who support alternative energy sources are conflicted by the giant turbines' impact on birds. To the human eye the majestic turbine blades make a slow circle as they are set in motion by gulf breezes. The reality is the tips of the blades are really moving as fast as 170 mph, and can lead to fatal encounters for migratory birds and bats.
Wind turbines are known to kill large birds, such as golden eagles, that live nearby. Now there is evidence that birds from up to hundreds of miles away make up a significant portion of the raptors that are killed at these wind energy fields.
“[The wind industry] says their making every effort to be proactive and to reduce birds and bats killed at their projects and they say nobody takes wildlife impacts more seriously than the wind industry.” Hutchins said. “I’m going to challenge that idea.”