Bats and birds are more threatened than ever:
To Save Birds, Change Rules On Wind Turbines
“A recent report from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service calls into question the wind industry’s assertion that birds fly well above wind turbines’ rotor blades. Using radar, researchers examined fall migration at two locations in Michigan. They found that the greatest density of birds and bats migrating at night occurred from 300 to 500 feet above ground. That’s almost directly at hub-height for the new generation of giant turbines.
Birds and bats “don’t have fixed lanes up there in the sky,” says Jeff Gosse, regional energy coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Bloomington, Minn., and the report’s principal investigator. For instance, during poor weather, birds tend to fly lower. “As conditions change, they will change their altitude, also. As the report indicates, many birds and bats are flying within the current rotor swept zone.”
Before we rush to build thousands of turbines taller than many skyscrapers, with blade tips that often spin in excess of 100 miles per hour, we should pause to examine what we already know about turbines’ effects on wildlife. Concerns about birds — and bats, which turbines also kill in large numbers — have not gone unnoticed. (The Department of Energy report euphemistically acknowledges the need to address “additional interactions with wildlife.”)
Yet we already know what these “interactions” are. While existing wind turbines kill hundreds of thousands of birds annually, the projections are even more sobering: Scientists have estimated that as the number of turbines increases, they could kill more than a million birds each year by 2030.”
Shut down the building of more bird and bat killers, right now!