Thursday, April 12, 2012

Guardian Article on Windfarms Impact On Bird Populations

The Guardian doesn't hide it's editorial direction, but it's usually fair in skewing facts to it's direction.  Not with the "Windfarms do not cause long-term damage to bird populations, study finds" article title.
The article indicates some populations aren't impacted, and others are.  Curiously, this is the same type of spin as in the Danish fish study I posted on yesterday - where there is a response that many species aren't impacted, without addresses concerns on species most likely to be impacted.
Regardless, I'll correct the headlines skew with the quotes I select

Windfarms do not cause long-term damage to bird populations, study finds | Environment |
Curlew numbers remained "significantly lower" after the windfarms began operating, after they abandoned nesting sites. Snipe numbers also failed to recover...Ornithologists are becoming increasingly anxious about the UK's overall curlew numbers; they have fallen sharply by about half, since 1995, and the UK is host to one-third of Europe's entire curlew population. The species is now on the amber list of threatened bird species.
The study's authors warned that their findings presented strong evidence that new developments should be carefully sited to minimise impacts on birds.
Pearce-Higgins said one caveat was that more long-term data was needed to ensure their findings were robust: some of the windfarms being studied had only been operating for three years.
There have been notorious, historic, cases of windfarms in other countries affecting local bird populations. Studies in the UK had found evidence that birds of prey in particular avoided windfarms, reducing the available food supplies and habitat. Bats can also be affected.
The RSPB was very critical of a decision by the Scottish government last week to approve the Viking windfarm on Shetland, despite clear evidence that its 103 turbines would harm nesting grounds and habitat for whimbrel and red-throated divers.

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