Wind turbines are crucial for sustainable power, which provides cheap electricity without producing such contaminants. But they can be fatal…
Wind turbines are crucial for sustainable power, which provides cheap electricity without producing such contaminants. But they can be fatal to birds, and new Research shows just how mortal: Wind turbines kill as many birds as in ecosystems where they are placed, the turbines effectively take the role of a top robber.
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We have long known that wind turbines pose a danger to birds. A typical wind farm can kill thousands of birds every year, including raptors like falcons and eagles. The death of these larger birds is the real problem because they can cause ripple effects throughout the ecosystem.
For example, take a wind farm in the western Ghats region of India , where a group of researchers from the Indian Institute of Science conducted their studies. At the wind farm, raptors were around four times less common than in the wind farm raging areas. They continued to die for turbines, which is not good for the raptors, but good news for fan-throated lizards, the raptors’ byte.
In and around the wind farm exploded wilderness populations, completely uncontrolled by predation. So few of them were eaten that they even lost almost all fear of danger. The researchers found that they could approach the lizards without leaving. The lizards, in turn, decreased the population in their own urban species and caused a dramatic change in the ecosystem.
If there is one thing that people have learned about ecology, it is that even small changes can completely interfere with the balance of an ecosystem, leading to dramatic and often unpredictable changes. Removing a species can change everything else, and usually not in a good way. It is not clear what the long-term consequences of the wind farm will be, but it’s likely to be bad.
It is likely that the same effect here will also occur in the United States, and finding a good solution is difficult. Some groups experiment with loudspeakers and sound cannons to scare birds away from turbines, and others re-examine how turbines are placed to minimize bird loss. If these solutions are not enough, we may only need to live with changing ecosystems around wind farms. Using wind turbines will nevertheless not have an even more negative impact on the environment.