Documents filed under Impact on Wildlife

Forest clearing at the NedPower wind facility, WV

Beforeafterforest_destruction_at_nedpower_windwv_thumb This document provides before and after aerial photos of the very southern end of the NedPower wind facility, the most recently constructed wind energy facility in the mid-Atlantic region. The project is comprised of 132 2-MW Gamesa wind turbines, each nearly 400 feet tall. Extensive clearing of forest was done to install the turbines and other project infrastructure. The average width of the area bulldozed for road corridor varies from about 75 to 100 feet.
1 Oct 2008

North American Symposium on Bat Research - Resolution bats and wind energy development

Be it resolved on this 7th day of July, 2008 that members of the North American Symposium on Bat Research have expressed concern about fatalities of bats at utility-scale wind energy facilities in North America. Because bats have exceptionally low reproductive rates making them susceptible to population declines and local extinctions, bat fatalities at wind facilities could pose biologically significant cumulative impacts for some species of bats unless solutions are found.
7 Jul 2008

Wind power in Virginia: Overstated benefits, understated costs

Overstated_benefits_understated_costs_thumb This brochure provides a quick, but informative, summary of the key issues pertaining to wind energy development in Virginia and the Appalachian region. The document can serve as a start point for others preparing similar information materials for their community. Click on the link(s) at the bottom of this page to view the final layout including photos.
1 Jun 2008

Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies position statement: Wind energy impacts on wildlife and wildlife habitat

Afwa_wind_position_2008_thumb While the public and many decision-makers generally believe that wind energy is environmentally benign, it may entail significant detriments to wildlife and essential habitats, which need to be more clearly understood, and addressed. State fish and wildlife agencies should be at the forefront of cooperative development and implementation of measures to characterize, avoid, minimize and effectively mitigate the impacts of wind energy development on natural resources. Therefore the position of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, in regard to wind energy development is to: ...
18 Apr 2008

The Wildlife Society final position statement: Impacts of wind energy development on wildlife and wildlife habitat

Wildlifesociety_wind_energy_thumb Wind energy is an increasingly important sector of the renewable energy industry and offers promise for contributing to renewable energy portfolios to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from carbon-based sources, which contribute to accelerating climate change. Worldwide, development of wind energy is projected to increase substantially in the next decade; wind energy development increased 27% in 2006 and 45% in 2007 in the U.S. alone. Unfortunately, fatalities of birds and bats have been reported at wind energy facilities worldwide. Large numbers of raptor kills in California and bat kills in the eastern U.S. have heightened concerns for some species and sites. Impacts resulting from loss of habitat for wildlife due to construction of turbines, access roads, and power transmission networks, the footprint of the turbine facilities, and increased human access are important and should be considered. Ultimately, the greatest influence from habitat modification on wildlife may be due to disturbance of habitats in proximity to turbines and fragmentation of habitat for wide ranging species.
1 Apr 2008

Patterns of Bat Fatalities at Wind Energy Facilities in North America

Arnett2008patbatfatal_thumb ABSTRACT: Wind has become one of the fastest growing sources of renewable energy worldwide, but widespread and often extensive fatalities of bats have increased concern regarding the impacts of wind energy development on bats and other wildlife. We synthesized available information on patterns of bat fatalities from a review of 21 post-construction fatality studies conducted at 19 facilities in 5 United States regions and one Canadian province. Dominance of migratory, foliage- and tree-roosting lasiurine species (e.g., hoary bat [Lasiurus cinereus]) killed by turbines was consistent among studies. Bat fatalities, although highly variable and periodic, consistently peaked in late summer and fall, coinciding with migration of lasiurines and other species. A notable exception was documented fatalities of pregnant female Brazilian freetailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis) in May and June at a facility in Oklahoma, USA, and female silver-haired bats (Lasionycteris noctivagans) during spring in Tennessee, USA, and Alberta, Canada. Most studies reported that fatalities were distributed randomly across turbines at a site, although the highest number of fatalities was often found near the end of turbine strings. Two studies conducted simultaneously in the same region documented similar timing of fatalities between sites, which suggests broader patterns of collisions dictated by weather, prey abundance, or other factors. None of the studies found differences in bat fatalities between turbines equipped with lighting required by the Federal Aviation Administration and turbines that were unlit. All studies that addressed relationships between bat fatalities and weather patterns found that most bats were killed on nights with low wind speed (6 m/sec) and that fatalities increased immediately before and after passage of storm fronts. Weather patterns may be predictors of bat activity and fatality; thus, mitigation efforts that focus on these high-risk periods could reduce bat fatality substantially. We caution that estimates of bat fatality are conditioned by length of study and search interval and that they are biased in relation to how searcher efficiency, scavenger removal, and habitat differences were or were not accounted for. Our review will assist managers, biologists, and decision-makers with understanding unifying and unique patterns of bat fatality, biases, and limitations of existing efforts, and it will aid in designing future research needed to develop mitigation strategies for minimizing or eliminating bat fatality at wind facilities.
24 Jan 2008
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