Preventing Wildlife Deaths at Wind Turbines

Last week the journal Nature published a news feature that rounded up various ways wind power companies are trying to prevent the deaths of birds and bats at wind farms.

The article begins with one labor intensive method: a team of scientists spots a migrating raptor, then alerts the wind farm operators, who shut down the turbines until the bird is safely passed. This, it should be noted, happens in Spain, at the Strait of Gibraltar.

In Pennsylvania, a radar system (the same one we discussed earlier, the fact) detects flocks of migrating birds and shuts the turbines down. It’s not so good for single birds, though. The death of one pelican was recorded on video.

The article notes that the wind power company’s records of the radar system haven’t been shared with independent scientists studying wind turbine collisions, so the system is a bit of a black box.

The article also mentions the successful reduction of bat deaths by stopping the turbines when wind speeds fall below a certain threshold when bats are most active.

Read the whole article in Nature, here.


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