Ducks Unlimited demands moratorium on all wind turbines near staging habitats

Ducks Unlimited Canada  Newsletter EASTERN REGION (Ontario) Volume 31,Number 4, 2010
Impacts of wind turbines on waterfowl
Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is in support of environmentally sustainable sources  of energy that reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. DUC recognizes, however, that all forms of power generation entail environmental trade-offs, and that there are drawbacks to alternatives including wind turbine developments. Our organization is concerned about our sustainability of such developments and that they are implemented in geographic locations and in a manner that does not negatively impact waterfowl populations and the wetland and upland habitats on which they depend.

DUC has significant concerns with the means by which, and the rate at which, renewable energy projects are being implemented in and adjacent to critical, continentally significant staging habitat for waterfowl and migratory birds. Research has shown that direct impacts on waterfowl (mortality from flying into wind turbines) is generally minimal, but there is a lack of science investigating both the indirect impacts (disturbance, habitat fragmentation, etc.) and the cumulative impacts of multiple wind farms on the waterfowl and their habitat.

DUC has encouraged the Province of Ontario to address this uncertainty by conducting the necessary sound science that will concentrate on these issue.  Understanding when and where wind developments are planned can be a challenge. As a result, DUC also recommends that the Province enhance the transparency of the regulatory process including the development of an improved method of engaging the public in consultations and being more responsive to the comments expressed.

DUC strongly believes that the approval process and scientific monitoring associated with wind turbine developments must be enhanced and as such, DUC will continue to promote and partner in relevant research initiatives to strengthen our knowledge and understanding of the impacts of wind turbines on waterfowl. However, until the impacts on waterfowl are better understood, DUC is calling on the Province to establish a moratorium on all wind turbines and renewable energy projects in areas providing continentally significant staging habitat for waterfowl and migratory birds.

10 thoughts on “Ducks Unlimited demands moratorium on all wind turbines near staging habitats

  1. Meanwhie on Wolfe island….du “protected” wetlands are surrounded by IWT’s! And three of them are owned by a founding member of DUC Kingston! HEY DU, FU!

  2. Fish and Game clubs who stand for protection of all birds and wildlife should be standing behind DUC in their moratorium request. Letters to MPP’s, municipalities and local papers to raise awareness to the impacts. Turbine projects placed in the vicinity of marshes and wetlands have yet to be studied impacts on swamp and puddle ducks during brooding season where the nestling dieoff numbers are not accounted for.

  3. Well, I must admit this is hardly a scorching criticism of the unavoidable havoc IWT’s wreak on migratory birds – especially when idiotically located in the midst of their normal habitat and flight paths!

    The proponents know these machines will kill thousands of birds and destroy habitat – they simply don’t care.

    To retain any credibility, whatsoever – D.U. must stop trying to suck and blow at the same time – everything they have worked tirelessly for, over decades, is at stake…

    Remember, those profiteering, multi-national energy corporations and their paid sycophants in the NGO and Government sectors are NOT YOUR FRIENDS!

  4. DUC is very similar to many of our rural neighbours who did not initially realize the devastation industrial wind turbines would cause to our health, our environment and to our domestic and wildlife species.

    At least they are now taking some action in asking for a moratorium.

    Better late than never!

  5. I kinda agree with you Debbie – but what disturbs me is that, even though they seem to have “figured it out” – they are still reticent to take a real stand!

    Enough of qualifying everything with “Although we fully support – blah, blah, blah, blah”. Don’t fully support them, fully oppose them and call it what it is – a freakin’ mess!

  6. Such hypocrisy, coming from Ducks Unlimited Canada a group, seventy years strong. Prior to the wind industry getting it’s foot in Canada’s front door, DUC would never have stood behind the mythology that they are standing behind today, “that all forms of power generation entail environmental trade-offs, and that there are drawbacks to alternatives including wind turbine developments”.

    The wind industry in Canada is approximately fifteen years old, all forms of power before that time presented finite adverse effects on the environment, from commencement to fruition, at all site locations the environmental adverse effects to wildlife and wildlife habitat were brought back to or near pre-construction conditions. The tradeoff back then, a proponent was allowed to follow through with a project activity and the adverse effects on the environment only took place for a definite period.

    Presently we know what’s been going on regarding wind farms world wide, hundreds of thousands of birds and bats are/have being/been killed by wind turbines, DUC knows full well the negative impact on waterfowl populations and the wetland and upland habitats on which they depend, however the common denominator, the wind, is also where you find birds, bats, wind industry developers and government support for the wind farm industry.

    Under SARA Section 73, Maximum term Subsection (9), No agreement may be entered into for a term longer than five years and no permit may be issued for a term longer than three years. Wind farms in Ontario have been killing off wildlife since their commencement of construction, birds listed under SARA are being killed by wind facilities, yet there is not anything being done.

    Though DUC is a non-profit organization they do receive government funding, that is why they and other organizations are not condemning the government of Ontario’s and Canada’s promotion of an activity, that has an infinite adverse effect on wildlife and wildlife habitat. We have heard this group speak up about the tar sands and the thousands of waterfowl that have been killed off from mud ponds, but they have yet to condemn wind turbines.

    With the risk of loosing government funding, these groups have to start advocating “NO INFINITE ADVERSE EFFECTS ON WILDLIFE AND WILDLIFE HABITAT”, then what they express by virtue of their group and or organization can not be considered and or construed as being PRETEND as is being conveyed now.

  7. Well said PEVC! Who the hell “needs” these crap machines. No ones believes that they are going to be the next energy producers. Do people want to rely on Industrial Wind Turbines to power their electric cars? They wouldn’t be able to afford the refueling AND wait for the wind to blow. We do not need to sacrifice human and wildlife habitat for B.S.

  8. Perhaps some of the ‘investors’ of Ducks Unlimited also invested in wind turbine developments?

    Where was Ducks Unlimited, or Bird Studies Canada when AIMPowerGen, now International Power, destroyed the landscape surrounding Long Point in Norfolk County? This area is designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a World Biosphere Reserve, and an Important Bird Area. These same developments (84 turbines in total) are responsible for the killing of at least one bald eagle: http://windconcernsontario.wordpress.com/2010/04/06/bald-eagle-killed-by-wind-turbine-in-norfolk-county-ontario/

    “A day late, and a dollar short.”

  9. “Still, the approvals were rubberstamped without scrutiny. Where were the birding organizations then?”

    Probably in Copenhagen, or currently in Cancun — attending the alternative energy displays. [/sarc off]

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