Documents filed under Impact on Wildlife
Texas Public Policy Foundation released Part 2 of its research on wind power in the state of Texas. This paper addresses the human and environmental impacts of wind power development. Part 1 reviews the subsidies supporting wind power and how industry growth remains reliant on public outlays.
Attached to this page are two letters by the American Bird Conservancy sent to EDF Renewables in regard to EDF's proposed Vista Mountain wind project slated for Hamilton and Mills counties in Texas. The letters raise specific concerns with the impact of the turbines on the ecologically-sensitive Texas Hill Country/Cross Timbers Region on the Edwards Plateau. The letters are important in that they inform readers how significant and habitat-rich the Texas landscape is, a fact that repeatedly gets ignored when the wind industry only touts the number of megawatts installed in the State. The full text of the first letter is pasted below. Both letters can be downloaded from this page.
For wind proponents who insist that wildlife can co-exist around operating wind turbines, this study explains how the behavior of animals resident within a wind project site changed their behavior and avoided the project area. In particular, the researchers identified the loss of habitat due to the access roads and noise/vibrations of the turbines. A portion of the document is provided below. The full paper can be accessed by clicking the document icon on this page. In addition, supplemental data from the study is also attached to this page.
This important paper appears to have identified a relationship between wind turbines and stress levels in badgers. The abstract and introduction of the paper are provided below. The full paper can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
The Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal released this decision partially granting an appeal of the Province's decision to approve the White Pines wind energy facility. The panel upheld the appeal because of the risk of serious and irreversible harm to the Little Brown Bat and Blanding’s Turtle. The White Pines wind facility, as proposed, consists of 29 wind turbines with a nameplate capacity of 59.45 megawatts (MW). The Project will be located within the ward of South Marysburgh and a small portion of Athol, Prince Edward County. The background details of the case before the Tribunal are provided below. The full decision can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
This important paper examines the impact of wind turbine noise on farm pigs and their meat quality. The research found that some level of stress from turbine noise during the fattening period and prior to slaughter has a detrimental effect on meat quality. The abstract of the paper is provided below. The full paper can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
Scientists at the Sea Mammal Research Unit at the University of St Andrews tracked 24 harbor seals and their behavior while offshore wind turbines were being installed on the east coast of England, in 2012. They predicted that half of the seals tracked received sound levels from pile driving that exceeded auditory damage thresholds. The results have implications for offshore industry and will be important for policymakers developing guidance for pile driving. A summary of the findings is provided below. The full paper can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
This study examines the impact of wind turbine sound emissions and the potential of masking of biological signals between species present in desert habitats. Turbine noise appear to increase the ambient noise level to the point where bioacoustic activity could not be detected. An abstract and summary of the report is provided below. The authors have not yet released the full report.
In this District Court ruling, Judge Reggie Walton found that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in their reviews of the offshore wind project. The court remanded the case to FWS to independently evaluate a shutdown of turbines during migratory bird season. The court also ruled that NMFS can no longer avoid fully evaluating impacts to right whales and must formulate and issue an incidental take statement because of the documented presence of this highly endangered species in the area. The conclusion of the ruling is provided below. The full ruling can be accessed by clicking the link on this page.
This photo essay, compiled by Peak Keepers of Vermont's Mountains, is dedicated to all animal species, large and small, that rely on the mountains of Vermont and New Hampshire, for their home habitat, for their water, their food and social interaction. They have no say in our world. They cannot decide to tear apart a mountain for their own good. For them there is no such thing as global warming or green energy. And excerpt of the essay is provided below. The full photo essay can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page.
This count ruling issued by Lady Clark of Calton overturns the April 4, 2012 decision by the Scottish Ministers to grant consent for the construction and operation of a 103 turbine (maximum generating capacity of 457 megawatts) Viking Wind facility. The Judge found that the Ministers failed to properly interpret and followe the Wild Birds Directive 2009. An excerpt of comprehensive ruling explaining the court's interpetation of the Directive is provided below. The full decision by the court can be accessed by clicking on the link(s) at the bottom of this page.
The Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal has permitted the appeal of the Ostrander Point Wind Energy Project to proceed on the grounds that serious and irreversible harm to the natural environment will occur if the project is built. The permit granted by the Director of Ontario's Ministry of the Environment was revoked. The overview of the decision is provided below. The full decision can be accessed by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page.
Environmental groups and residents of Nevada have filed a complaint in U.S. District Court of Nevada challenging the Department of the Interior's permit granting Duke Energy permission to construct an 87-turbine wind energy facility east of Searchlight on 19,000 acres of Bureau of Land Management land. Excerpts of the complaint are provided below. The plaintiffs argue that Former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar acted in a manner that was arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion and contrary to law. The full complaint can be accessed by clicking on the link(s) at the bottom of this page.
The Wildlife Society's March Bulletin included this impacting paper by Dr. Shawn Smallwood who compares post-construction bird and bat fatality assessments conducted across the United States. He estimates 888,000 bat and 573,000 bird fatalities/year (including 83,000 raptor fatalities) at 51,630 megawatt (MW) of installed wind-energy capacity in the United States in 2012. As wind energy continues to expand, there is urgent need to improve fatality monitoring methods and address the levels of mortality.
The US EPA submitted comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) prepared for the Shu'luuk Wind Project proposed for the Campo Indian Reservation in San Diego County, California. An excerpt of the comments is provided below including EPA's concerns about infrasound and the potential impact on human health. The full submission can be accessed by clicking the link on this page. This project was officially withdrawn from consideration.
William Staats, a wildlife biologist for the New Hampshire Fish and Game, submitted this testimony before the State of Vermont Senate Health & Welfare Committee Hearing on Health Issues Associated with Wind Turbines. Testimony was also presented at the Vermont House Natural Resources & Energy Committee. Mr. Staats resides in Vermont and has direct experience with the impacts of industrial scale wind energy development on New Hampshire ridgelines. His testimony provides critical insight into the true impacts of the towers on the State's wilderness areas.
This recent paper offers important data on how birds use wind flows to aid in flight and how modeling wind flow across complex terrain can assist in siting wind energy facilities to reduce avian mortality.
This study (originally prepared in Portuguese) concluded that a high incidence of acquired flexural limb deformities were as a direct result of the proximity to large wind turbines (2 MW) to the stud farm in question, where the vibration and noise caused by the turbines resulted in acquired flexural deformation of the distal interphalangeal joint in foals. The introduction and conclusions of the report are provided below in English. The full report, in English and Portuguese, can be downloaded from this page.
The report examines the impact of small-scale (under 50 kilowatts) wind turbines on birds and bats. The authors looked at mortality as well as how the turbine might degrade or impair the use of the area near the structure by the resource.
The important report examines the impact of White Nose Syndrome on Indiana bat populations and the opportunity, if any, for the populations to recover. In addition, renewable energy generation has resulted in the erection of thousands of wind turbines in the midwestern United States, resulting in significant mortality of both migrant and resident bats. The abstract of the paper is below. The full report can be accessed by clicking on the links at the bottom of this page.