Sunday, July 28, 2013

Bird deaths under-estimated

"A new study just published in the United States has estimated that around 573,000 birds were killed by wind turbines in 2012 (including 83,000 birds of prey), in increase of 30 per cent on a previous estimate by the US fish and Wildlife Service in 2009. Bats are even worse hit, says author K Shawn Smallwood, and probably top 888,000 killed per year.

Clearly this has serious implications for the renewable energy industry, which bases much of its investment and publicity on the safety and environmental sustainability of the machines. Smallwood also believes his figures are underestimated, owing to the incompleteness if reports of bird and bat deaths from different states, in particular Texas."

This comes as no surprise. As someone commented to me the other day, up on Fullabrook Down, many buzzards, for example, are seen hovering above the turbines. It isn't that easy to stand on watch over 22 turbines, and we couldn't help wondering how many birds fall to the ground unnoticed, and are carried away by foxes overnight.

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