GPS trackers to study impacts of turbines on waterfowl

duck transmitterBy Ellwood Shreve, Chatham Daily News
[excerpt] Chatham-Kent has one of the highest concentrations of industrial wind turbines in Ontario. Petrie said he’s looked at European studies where industrial turbines have been operating for several years. He noted it was determined each turbine has a 300-metre diameter “exclusion zone” that shows waterfowl, especially geese and swans don’t fly there. There are also fewer birds seen in a one-kilometre “avoidance zone” around the turbines, he added.

Petrie said his position on wind turbines is that not every one of them will adversely affect waterfowl. “But, if you put turbines into very important waterfowl habitat and the waterfowl avoid those areas, then that’s tantamount to habitat loss,” he said. Read article

24 thoughts on “GPS trackers to study impacts of turbines on waterfowl

  1. L – A – U – N – D – E – R

    (because we’re stupid)

    ‘[excerpt] Letters

    Given the inadequacies of AIM-
    PowerGen’s environmental assess-
    ment, I find […]

    While wind turbines offer an ex-
    cellent opportunity to reduce fossil
    fuel emissions, history and science
    have taught us that we need to
    practise due diligence when select-
    ing sites for turbine placement, par-
    ticularly in areas of high bird abun-
    dance.

    Scott Petrie
    PhD, wildlife biology
    Port Rowan

    And there’s more!

  2. Wasn’t he I’n a backroom doors closed meeting with Norfolk County Council? It seems to me he was successful in relocating 6 industrial wind turbines a few kms to the west, the other side of that imaginary boundary line of the designated Long Point World Class Biosphere Reserve!
    I guess the birds can now continue a few kms longer on their migratory path before they hit the killing field of IWT’s; and those people, who live there, were expected to live in their homes which are now smack dab the middle of this mess! The relocated turbines from Petrie’s zone were shoe horned into the already existing plan of wind turbine development, exposing these people to lethal amounts of lfn’s. Those who did not abandon their homes were like frogs in a pot of boiling water…done like dinner.
    Those poor people, assaulted by the lfn’s of the IWTs. The CEO of the former AIM Powergen company Mike Crawlwy (current president of the Federal Liberal Party), is responsible for the deaths and the losses of those people. This is CRIMINAL. These bastards needs to be held accountable, if not I’n the court of law, but in the court of the people of the community who would be acting in their own self defense from this attack. I’m surprised it hasn’t turned into the wild west already.

  3. Isn’t that like going to the Demolition Derby to see if Cars Crash?

    …or maybe waiting to see if the Roller Derby Queen really is built like a refrigerator with a head.

    Just sayin’ and askin’

  4. No, but this kind of research takes time and won’t help the present situation.
    Also depends on how many trackers are used as trackers are expensive.

  5. Kind of makes you wonder why this type of research hasn’t been funded prior to this time in Ontario where the migratory bird flight paths cross the province. It’s an ideal place to do this kind of research but too late to help in the present situation.

  6. Figure 3 in the above research article describes how an individual bird was tracked.
    With this kind of technology isn’t it possible to detect if a bird has collided with an object and no longer responds? Signal is lost within the known/defined tracking range?

    • Should not be a problem to detect missing birds with that equipment. Without a large sample size though — data would not be terribly good.

  7. July 13, 2005
    Biologists tilting at windmills
    WIND FARM SEEN AS THREAT TO TUNDRA SWANS
    Monte Sonnenberg
    SIMCOE REFORER

    [excerpt] Last night, wildlife biolo-
    gists from Bird Studies Cana-
    da and the Long Point Water-
    fowl & Wetland Research
    Fund derailed plans to situate
    windmills on 18 parcels of
    land in the former South
    Walsingham Township.
    […]
    Biologists have objected
    because the area around Mes-
    siah’s Corners is a major mi-
    gratory staging area for tun-
    dra swans and other water-
    fowl. A respected biologist
    who did an environmental
    study for AIMPowerGen con-
    cluded the huge windmills
    won’t affect bird populations.
    However, Norfolk council
    heard strong objections to
    this last night.

    “We’re confident in our sci-
    ence,” AIMPowerGen pres-
    ident and CEO Michael Craw-
    ley said last night. “But with
    this project we are striving for
    reasonable compromises.
    Even if (the complaints) are at
    the 11th hour, we want to en-
    sure that everyone is heard.”

    The objections from Bird
    Studies Canada and the Long
    Point research fund do not af-
    fect Phase I of the AIMPower-
    Gen wind farm. It will be built
    in southwest Norfolk and El-
    gin County.

    Phase I represents a $185
    million investment. It will fea-
    ture the construction of 65
    wind turbines, each standing
    nearly 100 metres tall.

    At issue last night was zon-
    ing for 34 additional turbines
    in Phase II. This phase of the
    project is potentially worth
    $100 million.

    AIM PowerGen will apply
    to the Ministry of Energy in
    mid-August for the right to
    supply power from this set of
    windmills. If the province ac-
    cepts Phase II, the total num-
    ber of turbines in southwest
    Norfolk and Elgin will rise to
    99.
    […]
    Scott Petrie is a biologist
    with the Long Point Water-
    fowl and Wetland Research
    Fund. In a presentation to
    council last night, Petrie said
    windmills in the area of Mes-
    siah’s Corners would force
    tundra swans to seek spring
    and fall migratory staging ar-
    eas elsewhere. Large wind
    turbines, he said, scare water-
    fowl away.

    Petrie said AIMPower-
    Gen’s environmental report
    was vague and inadequate.
    The study was performed by
    Dr. Ross James, the former
    chief bird specialist at the Royal On-
    tario Museum in Toronto.

    “My studies were general,” Dr.
    James told council. “I had to con-
    sider everything. I couldn’t concen-
    trate on just one species.”

    Petrie said he wants an in-depth
    research report undertaken.
    […]
    The province will entertain pro-
    posals for a third-round of green en-
    ergy projects late this fall or
    winter. AIMPowerGen hope to sat-
    isfy the concerns of Petrie and his
    colleagues in time to include Nor-
    folk in that application.’

  8. Environmental Impact Statement for the Erie Shores Wind Farm

    submitted June 8, 2005
    to Curtis Lockett
    Environmental Assessment Officer
    Wind Power Production Incentive
    Natural Resources Canada
    11C9 580 Booth Street
    Ottawa ON K1A 0E4

    WPPI Registration No. 5902-A2-2

    ‘[excerpt] Yours very truly,
    Mike Crawley
    President and CEO
    AIM PowerGen Corporation

    Cc: D. Zborowski – NRCan
    I. Lamirande – NRCan
    D. Cameron – CEAA
    S. Kumar – MacViro
    D. Price – Clean Power Income Fund’

    ‘[excerpt] 2.2.1 Project History

    The following is a brief chronology of key milestones to-date on this project:

    January 2002 Incorporation of AIM PowerGen

    April 2002 Discussions begin with key stakeholders ( Bird Studies Canada, local municipalities, Long Point Region Conservation Authority, Ministry of Natural Resources)’

  9. Seems either the MNR dosen’t know what they are doing or is being overruled.

    A lack of funding for needed research can be used to enhance some other political agenda. Don’t do the research as it might get in the way of IWTs.

    Tracking birds is just like tracking aircraft.

  10. Rural Ontarians have to have everything in writing to prove what they say is true.
    This is why this bird study is important as it pertains to Ontario and proves that bird movements can be tracked in Ontario.

    Radio/electronic tracking can detect and locate plane crashes. The same is true with birds.

  11. If, for example, bird radio tracking studies were done at locations like Wolfe Island, then some real information could be obtained.

    If insects were tagged then it should be possible to determine if they are sucked into IWTs.

    Other animals can be tagged to determine if they too avoid IWT areas.

    Point here is that studies that could prove the harm done by IWTs won’t be funded. These kinds of activities don’t suit the present political agenda.

  12. More from those dark days of 2005…..

    ‘[excerpt] viewpoint
    “Impossible to please”
    Monte Sonnenberg, Simcoe Reformer’

    ‘[excerpt] THE POINT
    Wind turbines have an excellent
    record of working in harmony
    with nature’

    ‘[excerpt] It was probably only a matter
    of time before AIMPowerGen
    and its ambitious plan for a huge
    wind farm in southwest Norfolk
    ran “afowl” of naturalists.
    On the face of it, AIMPower-
    Gen and other green power en-
    thusiasts come across as envi-
    ronmental superheroes. Our
    part of North America is chok-
    ing on bad air due to the large
    number of coal-fired power
    plants in our midst. These power
    plants emit unacceptable levels
    of contamination. This poison is
    especially hard on wildlife.
    […]
    In an effort to clean
    up the environment, the
    McGuinty government
    is entertaining sugges-
    tions for projects that
    produce clean, sustain-
    able electricity. AIM-
    PowerGen wants to
    make southwest Norfolk
    a key part of the solu-
    tion. The company is
    prepared to invest hun-
    dreds of millions of dol-
    lars in a traditionally de-
    pressed part of the county. Prop-
    erty owners playing host to one
    of these 300-foot turbines are eli-
    gibile for an annual royalty of
    $5,000.
    But now wildlife biologists
    are sounding the alarm about
    plans to erect turbines east of
    County Road 23 near Messiah’s
    Corners. This area west of Port
    Rowan is a major spring and fall
    staging area for tundra swans. It
    never [sic] used to be. But since
    swans have figured out there is
    abundant remnant grain in the
    vicinity, this neighbourhood has
    become a feeding ground. Some
    days, thousands of swans can be
    seen here gorging themselves.
    Norfolk council heard Tues-
    day that these imposing struc-
    tures might scare swans away.
    […]
    AIMPowerGen didn’t have to,
    but it has agreed to defer plans
    to locate windmills in this part of
    Norfolk until it addresses its
    critics’ concerns. In a worst-case
    scenario, AIMPowerGen will
    abandon this part of Norfolk and
    instead attempt to locate a third
    wave of windmills on inferior
    sites in Elgin County.
    One would expect wildlife bi-
    ologists and naturalists to take
    an interest in this issue. But
    don’t assume that everybody’s
    motives are pure. Many mem-
    bers of the environmental move-
    ment have a hidden agenda.
    Some aren’t interested in substi-
    tuting clean electricity for dirty
    electricity. Instead, they want
    society to return to an imagined
    Lost Arcadia, where people al-
    legedly lived a simple, bucoloic
    existence in harmony
    with nature. With this
    crowd, modern ameni-
    ties such as electricity
    are rejected while the
    romantic lore of the
    peasant is embraced.
    […]
    The area around Messiah’s
    Corners has not always been a
    major staging area for tundra
    swans. And the thousands that
    arrive there have overcome
    many obstacles more serious
    than wind towers. Cities and
    skyscrapers come to mind, as do
    communication towers and hy-
    dro corridors. And there is no
    shortage of free forage in south-
    central Ontario. Pathetic com-
    modity prices have seen to that. If
    tundra awans don’t like wind
    towers-and we have no proof
    they do-there is no shortage of
    places elsewhere for them to
    feed.
    Europeans have managed to
    cram wind towers along their
    shorelines without incurring en-
    vironmental disaster. As well,
    waterfowl are among the most
    talented of birds when it comes
    to dodging obstacles. By all
    means review the data and per-
    form due diligence. But when
    that is done, the time for ob-
    structionism is over.
    -MONTE SONNENBERG’

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