Windfarms and Birds

To: "Birding Aus" <>
Subject: Windfarms and Birds
From: "Plimer, Andrew (Sen A. Hurley)" <>
Date: Thu, 13 Apr 2006 10:37:56 +1000
Although not peer reviewed, Hodos et al. (2001) found through laboratory tests 
that motion smear, which makes the blade tips of wind turbines appear 
transparent to birds at high speeds, occurs in American Kestrel's. This may 
indicate that birds, no matter how fast and agile they may be, have trouble 
picking up a fast moving turbine blade as they approach it. Others have 
suggested that this motion smear effect may even be heightened in the field due 
to backround grey/blue/green colours. Something to consider, perhaps.

Entire reference is;

Hodos, W., A. Potocki, T. Storm, and M. Gaffney. 2001. Reduction of motion 
smear to
reduce avian collisions with wind turbines. Pages 88-105 in Proceedings of the 
Avian-Wind Power Planning Meeting IV, Carmel. CALIF., May 16-17, 2000. Prepared 
the Avian Subcommittee of the National Wind Coordinating Committee, by RESOLVE,
Inc., Washington, D.C., Susan Savitt Schwartz, ed., 179p.

-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of L&L Knight
Sent: Wednesday, 12 April 2006 4:04 PM
To: Birding Aus
Subject: Windfarms and Birds

I think the article in today's Australian -,20867,18790534-601,00.html  
sums it up nicely -

"The study into the potential impact of Bald Hills on the parrot was
conducted by the company Biosis. The same company was commissioned by
the developers of the Heemskirk wind farm to assess the likely effect
of the Tasmanian facility on the orange-bellied parrot.

In its report on Heemskirk, Biosis said the parrot was likely to pass
through the wind farm site.

It said orange-bellied parrots were not a "collision-prone species, but  
instead agile flyers, with excellent vision, and like all birds that
fly at night have excellent night vision".

It said there was only one record of the parrot colliding with "any
type of structure, including windows, powerlines and buildings". The
one collision with the lighthouse was unusual. "This isa lit structure,  
which is known to be a hazard to birds," the report says.

"Orange-bellied parrots are agile flyers that can reach speeds of
150km/h and have been observed flying through dense forests in windy
conditions without colliding.

"Therefore, there is no apriori reason to suggest wind farms should be
regarded as a potential threat to orange-bellied parrots."'

Furthermore, coal-fired power stations are a key contributor to global
warming, which is the main threat to the survival of endangered bird
species in the long run -

The article mentioned in today's item Australia named as extinction
'hotspot' -,20867,18781399-
30417,00.html very clearly notes the threat to habitat-limited species
- particularly those in areas such as SW Aus - where there could be
over 2000 plant extinctions.

Global Warming and Extinctions of Endemic Species from Biodiversity
Conservation Biology Volume 20 Page 538  - April 2006

Abstract: Global warming is a key threat to biodiversity, but few
researchers have assessed the magnitude of this threat at the global
scale. We used major vegetation types (biomes) as proxies for natural
habitats and, based on projected future biome distributions under
doubled-CO2 climates, calculated changes in habitat areas and
associated extinctions of endemic plant and vertebrate species in
biodiversity hotspots. Because of numerous uncertainties in this
approach, we undertook a sensitivity analysis of multiple factors that
included (1) two global vegetation models, (2) different numbers of
biome classes in our biome classification schemes, (3) different
assumptions about whether species distributions were biome specific or
not, and (4) different migration capabilities. Extinctions were
calculated using both species-area and endemic-area relationships. In
addition, average required migration rates were calculated for each
hotspot assuming a doubled-CO2 climate in 100 years. Projected percent
extinctions ranged from <1 to 43% of the endemic biota (average 11.6%),  
with biome specificity having the greatest influence on the estimates,
followed by the global vegetation model and then by migration and biome  
classification assumptions. Bootstrap comparisons indicated that
effects on hotpots as a group were not significantly different from
effects on random same-biome collections of grid cells with respect to
biome change or migration rates; in some scenarios, however, hotspots
exhibited relatively high biome change and low migration rates.
Especially vulnerable hotspots were the Cape Floristic Region,
Caribbean, Indo-Burma, Mediterranean Basin, Southwest Australia, and
Tropical Andes, where plant extinctions per hotspot sometimes exceeded
2000 species. Under the assumption that projected habitat changes were
attained in 100 years, estimated global-warming-induced rates of
species extinctions in tropical hotspots in some cases exceeded those
due to deforestation, supporting suggestions that global warming is one  
of the most serious threats to the planet's biodiversity.

Regards, Laurie.

On Wednesday, April 12, 2006, at 08:30  AM, Bill Stent wrote:

> Evan
> This "start" is valid only if you want to paint an example that is now 
> held up as how NOT to design a wind farm as representative of what has 
> been developed over the subsequent decades.
> It's a bit like saying that modern trains are unsustainable as they
> use a lot of coal.
> Bill

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