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Wind Turbines: The New Predator in the Wildlife

Wind Turbines can give people renewable energy through the force of wind but there are species that can make wind turbines a harm on them like birds / Photo by: Johan Swanepoel via Shutterstock

 

Harnessing power from the wind is one of the cleanest and most suitable ways to generate electricity as it produces no toxic pollution or global warming emissions. Wind is also abundant and affordable which makes it a viable and large-scale alternative to fossil fuels. However, despite the promise of clean energy from giants wind turbines, there are still slight complications on the usage of wind energy farms in some part of the world.

 

Large-scale wind turbine farms are believed to be one factor that affects birds migration. Environment experts said that wind turbines have an environmental impact on wildlife conservation since birds and other winged creatures are dying because they are being collided with these giant turbines. In an article posted by Investor’s Business Daily, they noted that 100,000 to 300,000 birds are dying because of wind turbines which are higher than the death toll due to oil spills that looks very horrifying and very cruel to imagine.

At the end of 2016. There were more than 52,000 commercial-scale wind turbines operating in the United States and many more are currently under construction. Fragile-bodied bats can even succumb to the pressures created when the giant turbine blades pass through the air, a phenomenon known as barotrauma. Migratory bats have a lethal attraction to wind turbines

 

Studies have since suggested that migratory bats, which roost in trees and fly long distances in the spring and fall, are attracted to the turbines and their towers for some reason. When they fly too close, they collide with the spinning turbine blades and they would be instantly killed.

Wind turbines can attract birds and when they were near the blade, they got hit causing their deaths / Photo by: wildlife_nordic via Shutterstock

 

Bat killer

 

Moreover, Pharos-Tribune also shared on their website that the sighting of bats and birds carcass near a wind farm in Indiana prompted the initiative to raise an awareness regarding the preservation of bats and birds in the wildlife. A study was conducted to know the effects of wind turbines on wildlife and this leads the researchers to conclude that wind turbines really affect the mortality rate of migratory birds and bats. This discovery also prompted the owner of the wind farm to cooperate with the local authorities to build a conservation plan which aims to minimize the bird and bat-related casualties due to the said turbines.

Meanwhile, Acer Ecology UK reported on their website that in Germany, 10-12 bats are being killed due to wind turbines and they estimated that two million bats have been killed in total over the last ten years. Direct impacts of wind farms can include collision and barotrauma and indirect impacts can include habitat loss and fragmentation. Researchers still aren’t sure what draws bats to wind turbines. But they do know that bats are more likely to approach windmills on calm nights, a behavior that could be connected to how they land and roost in trees.

 

Furthermore, previous studies also showed that 90% of 188 dead bats from a wind farm in Alberta, US was killed because of having an internal hemorrhaging. The movement of wind-turbine blades creates a vortex of lower air pressure around the blade tips similar to the vortex at the tip of airplane wings. The death of million bats could also affect the human population since they are the predators of smaller insects that sometimes bring diseases and causes a wide-spread sickness.

There are reports of bats also died because they were also hit by the wind turbine's blades / Photo by: Rudmer Zwerver via Shutterstock

 

Wind turbines on ecology

There are reports of bird and bat mortality at wind turbines as there are around other artificial structures. The scale of the ecological impact remains unclear. Prevention and mitigation of wildlife fatalities and protection of peat bogs, affect the siting and operation of wind turbines. Wind energy has little to no damaging effect on the environment in the way that other energy sources do, such as coal, gas, oil, and nuclear-generated power, but wind energy systems ranging from an individual wind turbine.

 

The survival of the world ecosystem, including of course ourselves, requires that we harness renewable energy in an environmentally tolerable way. One source of power is wind and it is vital that people assess the impact of current developments. Humans tend to destroy their only home and wind power has been an important local source of energy, for pumping water, grinding corn for almost two millennia and during the last century, millions of improved small wind turbines have been usefully installed on farms.

 

Environmental assessment is routinely carried out for wind farm proposals, and potential impacts on the local environment are evaluated. Turbine locations and operations are often modified as part of the approval process to avoid or minimize impacts on threatened species and their habitats. Wind farms are often built on land that has already been impacted by land clearing. The vegetation clearing and ground disturbance required for wind farms are minimal compared with coal mines and coal-fired power stations.

 

Wind-energy advocates contend that less than 1% of the land is used for foundations and access roads, the other 99% can still be used for farming. A wind turbine needs about 200-400 meter squared for the foundation.

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