Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Wind farms blamed for deaths of eagle

30.01.2006


Wind turbines have caused the deaths of huge birds of prey on isolated islands off the Norwegian coast.



The discovery of four dead white-tailed eagles, and the failure of almost 30 others to return to nesting sites within the wind farm area, has increased fears that wind farms in Britain could take a similar toll on native and migrating wild birds.

The white-tailed eagle, Europe’s largest eagle species, is found in significant numbers on Smøla, a set of islands about six miles (ten kilometres) off the north-west Norwegian coast. The island is listed by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area because it has one of the highest breeding densities of the bird in the world.


White-tailed eagles are also beginning to thrive in the Western Isles of Scotland as a direct result of a 30-year reintroduction project. Developers regard this area as ripe for wind farm construction too.

Dr Mark Avery, Conservation Director at the RSPB said: “These findings are shocking yet may only be the tip of the iceberg. Research on Smøla is being stepped up and if more dead birds are found, and even fewer are able to breed, we will be doubly determined to fight wind farm plans that could cause similar destruction in the UK.”

The four dead birds were found between August and December last year. Two had been sliced in half, apparently by a turbine blade. Post mortems blamed multiple trauma for the birds’ deaths, caused by a heavy blow. Much of the wind park is remote and rarely visited and it is possible that other deaths have gone undetected.

The 68-turbine Smøla wind farm was built between 2001 and 2005. The Norwegian government ignored advice based on an environmental assessment, warning against the development because of the danger it posed to white-tailed eagles. BirdLife International took the case to the Bern Convention but the decision was not overturned.

Research by the RSPB, the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA) and the Norwegian Sea Eagle Project will now be stepped-up to include regular checks for casualties throughout the wind park, and monitoring of this spring’s breeding activity.

Conservationists are yet to draw firm conclusions from their initial monitoring because breeding numbers of white-tailed eagles often vary and in 2004 and 2005 especially, construction activity for the second part of the wind park was intense.

But the birds are already known to be deterred from nesting near new roads or buildings. They are also faithful to previous nesting sites, however.

Arne Follestad, a Research Scientist at NINA said: “Breeding results on Smøla have been strikingly poor compared with the 30 years before the wind farm was built, both on the site itself and the remainder of the island.

“We are only half way through the research, yet despite their site-faithfulness, we are not confident that white-tailed eagles will adapt to the turbines and return to the wind park area. As older birds die, we do not know if new birds will occupy nest sites within the wind farm.”

The RSPB strongly supports the generation of wind and other renewable energies to help tackle climate change but this week’s interim research results have underlined the dangers of wind parks placed near sites that birds instinctively seek.

Stuart Housden, Director of RSPB Scotland said: “The news from Norway is of great concern to us. If white-tailed eagles have died because of wind turbine collisions, there are major implications for our own eagle populations here in Scotland.

“We are campaigning hard against the proposed 234-turbine wind farm for the north Lewis peatlands partly because of the great danger it poses to Scotland’s eagles.

“This environmentally sensitive site is protected under European law and a large wind farm there could have catastrophic implications for a wide variety of bird species - including both species of our native eagles - and the fragile peatland environment as a whole. This is why we are calling on the Scottish Executive to provide clear strategic guidance to developers to help them avoid such sensitive locations.”

Cath Harris | alfa
Further information:
http://www.rspb.org.uk

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Foxes in the city: citizen science helps researchers to study urban wildlife
14.12.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

nachricht Machine learning helps predict worldwide plant-conservation priorities
04.12.2018 | Ohio State University

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Data storage using individual molecules

Researchers from the University of Basel have reported a new method that allows the physical state of just a few atoms or molecules within a network to be controlled. It is based on the spontaneous self-organization of molecules into extensive networks with pores about one nanometer in size. In the journal ‘small’, the physicists reported on their investigations, which could be of particular importance for the development of new storage devices.

Around the world, researchers are attempting to shrink data storage devices to achieve as large a storage capacity in as small a space as possible. In almost...

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

When a fish becomes fluid

17.12.2018 | Studies and Analyses

Progress in Super-Resolution Microscopy

17.12.2018 | Life Sciences

How electric heating could save CO2 emissions

17.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>