Wind turbines are veritable killing machines. And the really sad thing is that they kill birds and bats that are already struggling:
The Spanish Ornithological Society in Madrid estimates that Spain's 18,000 wind turbines may be killing 6 million to 18 million birds and bats annually. “A blade will cut a griffon vulture in half,” says Bechard. “I've seen them just decapitated."
“The troubling issue with wind development is that we're seeing a growing number of birds of conservation concern being killed by wind turbines,” says Albert Manville, a biologist with the US Fish and Wildlife Service in Arlington, Virginia.But the rapid expansion of wind power can harm wildlife in multiple ways. Beyond direct collisions with turbines, wind farms threaten species by displacing habitat. And bats can develop fatal internal haemorrhaging as a result of air-pressure changes when they fly through the wake of a spinning blade.
But the concern is that turbines threaten species that are already struggling, such as bats, which in North America have been hit hard by white-nose fungus. Another vulnerable group is raptors, which are slow to reproduce and favour the wind corridors that energy companies covet. “There are species of birds that are getting killed by wind turbines that do not get killed by autos, windows or buildings,” says Shawn Smallwood, an ecologist who has worked extensively in Altamont Pass, California, notorious for its expansive wind farms and raptor deaths. Smallwood has found that Altamont blades slay an average of 65 golden eagles a year2. “We could lose eagles in this country if we keep on doing this,” he says.
Other species at risk include the critically endangered California condors (Gymnogyps californicus) — which number only 226 in the wild — and the few hundred remaining whooping cranes (Grus americanus), concentrated in the central United States. Biologists can't say whether the increase in wind farms will cause the collapse of these or other bird species, which already face many threats. But waiting for an answer is not an option, says Smallwood. “By the time we do understand the population-level impacts, we might be in a place we don't want to be.”
Read the entire article here
This senseless killing of endangered birds and bats should of course be condemned by all, particularly those who say they are working for the protection of wild animals. But don´t expect that e.g. Greenpeace "activists" will be chaining themselves to wind turbines any time soon. No, Greenpeace is instead actively spreading false information about the danger to birds by wind turbines:
Myth: Wind turbines threaten bird populations.
Fact: Studies show that for every 10,000 bird fatalities, less than one is caused by wind turbines. For comparison, cats cause about 10 percent of bird deaths and nearly half are caused by collisions with buildings or windows.
In fact, a recent study published Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shows that 40 percent of all species could face extinction because of global warming.
Monitoring of existing wind farms suggests that with proper location and construction, there is no adverse impact on bird populations.