Library filed under Impact on Birds

Developing Methods to Reduce Bird Fatalities in the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area

Wind turbines in the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area (APWRA) provide on average 1.1 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of emissions-free electricity annually, enough to power almost 200,000 average households per annum, but these turbines also kill birds that are legally protected, and have been doing so for decades. This five-year research effort focused on better understanding the causes of bird mortality at the world's largest wind farm. Researchers studied 2,548 wind turbines and combined their data with results from 1,526 wind turbines they had studied previously. They sought to: (1) quantify bird use, including characterizing and quantifying perching and flying behaviors of individual birds around wind turbines; (2) evaluate flight behaviors and the environmental and topographic conditions associated with them; (3) identify possible relationships between bird mortality and bird behaviors, wind tower design and operations, landscape attributes, and prey availability; and (4) develop predictive, empirical models that identify turbine or environmental conditions that are associated with high vulnerability. Researchers concluded that bird fatalities at the APWRA result from various attributes of wind turbine configuration and placement, and that species-specific behavior plays a large role in how each contributory factor affects mortality. The report details numerous specific observations. Researchers identified and evaluated possible measures to mitigate bird mortality in the APWRA. They offer recommendations to discontinue or modify some current management actions, to implement new ones immediately, and to experiment with others. Data presented in the report support these recommendations. The results suggest that repowering with carefully placed, modern wind turbines mounted on taller towers may be the preferable means to substantially reduce bird mortality.
1 Aug 2004

Wedge-tailed Eagle Mortality at Starfish Hill

F1000004_-2-_thumb This Wedge-tailed Eagle was found by a group on a visit to the 23 turbine Starfish Hill wind farm in September 2003. It was taken to a Vet who discovered it had so many broken bones and internal injuries that it had to be put down. Two weeks later a second Wedge-tailed Eagle was killed at the same wind farm. This one was found with its head cut off. A third Wedge-tailed Eagle has since been killed. A Wedge-tailed Eagle was killed at Woolnorth in Tasmania and another at Codrington in the western district. Numerous other birds have been killed at these wind farms. The following link is to a related Eagle Hawk Action Group press release
1 Sep 2003

New Jersey Audubon Society's Position Paper On Wind Power Energy

Audubon_1__thumb New Jersey Audubon Society (NJAS) and its 20,000 members generally support environmentally-responsible renewable energy sources, such as wind power, photovoltaic cells, geothermal and hydro-fuel cells. Because traditional energy sources contribute to global climate change, habitat change and degradation, smog pollution, mercury contamination in our waterways, and radioactive waste, NJAS recognizes the importance of developing emission-free sources of energy. However, we are concerned about the potential impacts of these developing technologies on wildlife, and natural habitats.
1 Jul 2003

USF&WS Letter to Nebraska Public Power District re. Possible Threats Posed by Ainsworth Wind Plant to Wildlife

Usfws_letter_to_nppd_thumb The attached pdf file contains a letter written by Steve Anschutz, Nebraska Field Supervisor of the USF&WS, to Rockford Plettner, Environmental Specialist Water/Natural Resources of Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD). The letter responds to a NPPD request for input regarding the possible construction of a wind farm south of Ainsworth, Brown County, Nebraska. The letter's comments are provided as technical assistance and predevelopment consultation....
18 Apr 2003
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