Articles filed under Impact on Birds from Africa
In South Africa, recent research found that 36% of birds killed by wind turbines were birds of prey. These birds have long lifespans and produce relatively few young each year, which means that even a small increase in deaths can cause their populations to decline. This wind-wildlife conflict has been termed a green-green dilemma: more clean energy and healthy bird populations are both desirable environmental goals, yet with detrimental counter effects.
Over 800 birds were killed after colliding with turbines at 20 wind energy facilities (WEFs) in South Africa between 2014 and 2018, a new study has revealed. The toll includes species of conservation concern such as endangered Cape Vultures and Black Harriers, both endemic to southern Africa.
BirdLife supports renewable energy – but not when it comes at the expense of wildlife. In recent years, plans to build a wind farm near an important site for migratory birds have caused much concern among conservationists. Now, opposing action has put it on ice.
During these daily prayer sessions – the ex-employee thought they had been around late 2015 or early 2016 but was unable to recall exact dates – Gavin Watson had on “numerous occasions” mentioned the Roodeplaat wind farm project and the eagles. Watson had told those present – usually between five and ten, but sometimes as many as 15 employees – that his brother had an “environmental problem” with the presence of the eagles at Roodeplaat, and that he [Ronnie Watson] “would book someone to come and shoot these birds”.
Remarkably, a year later this young bird found her way back into the Eastern Cape but what makes this so tragic, is that she was found a mere 0.8km from the nearest wind turbine on a wind farm, alive but electrocuted with a badly burnt and maggot-infested wing! The Eskom network of power lines are known to have detrimental impacts on vultures with the Eastern Cape being no different. The alarming fact is that these birds are now dicing with these monstrous wind turbine blades of the ever increasing wind farm developments taking place in this province. With the increased number of wind farms, so do the power lines multiply.
Bird specialist and owner of Avisense Consulting, Andrew Jenkins, said environmental assessment standards “are frequently determined more by the time and budgetary constraints of the developer, rather than by the sensitivity of the receiving environments and the predicted risks of environmental damage”. There was a lack of proper oversight by government ...many EIAs took short cuts and favoured the developer.
“The proposed wind farm would be disastrous for Africa’s Critically Endangered vultures, and many other important bird species, and contradicts Kenya’s commitment to the Convention on Migratory Species.”
So far, the biggest impact of inappropriately sited wind turbines has been on populations of large birds of prey, in particular eagles and vultures. In some extreme cases turbines have led to the death of hundreds of the birds as they collide with the turning blades.
Bird conservationists fear proposed wind farms in northern Lesotho will have a devastating impact on two highly endangered vulture species.
In a move that still astounds conservationists, in 2011, Classical Environmental Management Services released a report that did not mention the two vulture species and even went so far as to say there were no major environmental flaws to prevent the wind farm project from proceeding. ...Experts agree, the wind power project poses a dire threat to the two vulture species and will lead to their extinction if it continues.
"It's unfortunate but the area in Egypt with the highest wind speed is also a bottleneck in one of the world's biggest bird migration routes," environmental consultant Mindy Baha al-Din told Egypt Independent.
Some 51 per cent of African-Eurasian migratory raptor species have an "unfavourable" conservation status. John O'Sullivan, of Birdlife International, a global alliance of conservation organisations, said: "We have recently heard about the sad case of the golden eagle being poisoned in Scotland, but birds of prey face additional problems trying to settle in networks of suitable habitats along their migration paths. We know little about the status of raptors in Africa, and in Asia species are poorly understood." The main threats to the birds, Mr O'Sullivan said, were habitat loss, illegal hunting, power lines, and wind farm initiatives.