North Central New Jersey Edition
Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print Feed Feed

Wildlife Wipeout

Wind Turbines Kill Winged Creatures

J. Marijs/Shutterstock.com

Wind turbines make cleaner energy, but are dangerous to birds and bats. According to a study in the Wildlife Society Bulletin, approximately 573,000 birds and 888,000 bats are killed annually by wind turbines, which are providing increased wind power capacity nationwide. At one solar power plant in California, an estimated 3,500 birds died in just the plant’s first year of operation.

What would help most is offshore turbines and knowledge about migration routes. The safest place for wind turbines is in the ocean, because songbirds and bats don’t migrate over such waters. On land, many songbirds fly at night and can’t see the wind turbines until it’s too late. Once they’ve discovered the unsafe area, they avoid it. Because migration routes are based on availability of food, water and resting areas, birds are forced to fly around the turbines, adding miles to their trip and the burning of more calories.

Estimates of just how many bats are dying each year range from the tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands. Radar installations help to keep bats away from the deadly blades. Other remedies include slowing the blades at night to reduce collisions, which has proved to reduce overall wildlife deaths by 73 percent.

In 2016 the American Wind Energy Association announced voluntary guidelines to halt turbines during low wind speeds, when bats are most active, to reduce bat fatalities by 30 percent. With two more industry changes, bat fatalities could drop 90 percent: feathering, or turning the blades parallel to the wind so the turbines don’t rotate; and higher cut-in speeds so they don’t rotate in light winds.


Take action at NationOfChange.org/petitions/protect-bats-lethal-wind-turbines.


This article appears in the October 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Kirtan and Chanting with Girish at Purple Om Yoga

Girish is an accomplished musician, former monk and a loving wordsmith who links lyrics and rhythm in a blissful musical event.

Empathic Journeys Counseling Opens in Parsippany

The new practice will offer counseling services for children, adolescents, teens, adults, couples and families, utilizing a strengths-based approach.

Soshimsa Zen Center Open House

The Zen Center offers meditation classes, traditional Buddhist services and community outreach.

Restore Yourself with Restorative Yoga

Today I would like to introduce you to one of yoga’s sweet gifts to the world: the style of restorative yoga.

Be Heard. Make a Difference.

As young adults and teens, we need to start taking action on issues where we want to see something changed.

Add your comment: