Vulnerable grassland birds abandon mating sites near wind turbines

chickenPhys.org
Shifting to renewable energy sources has been widely touted as one of the best ways to fight climate change, but even renewable energy can have a downside, as in the case of wind turbines’ effects on bird populations. In a new paper in The Condor: Ornithological Applications, a group of researchers demonstrate the impact that one wind energy development in Kansas has had on Greater Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus cupido) breeding in the area. Virginia Winder of Benedictine College, Andrew Gregory of Bowling Green State University, Lance McNew of Montana State University, and Brett Sandercock of Kansas State University monitored prairie-chicken leks, or mating sites,
before and after turbine construction and found that leks within eight kilometers of turbines were more likely to be abandoned.

Leks are sites at which male prairie-chickens gather each spring to perform mating displays and attract females. The researchers visited 23 leks during the five-year study to observe how many male birds were present and to record the body mass of trapped males. After wind turbine construction, they found an increased rate of lek abandonment at sites within eight kilometers of the turbines as well as a slight decrease in male body mass. Lek
abandonment was also more likely at sites where there were seven or fewer males and at sites located in agricultural fields instead of natural grasslands. Read article

19 thoughts on “Vulnerable grassland birds abandon mating sites near wind turbines

  1. Unfortunately, some of us who work for a living were unable to tune into Julian Falconer & company on the radio this morning. Was the conversation recorded? And will it be made available for the rest of the world?

    Also noticed this recent disgusting decision from Ontario’s “Environmental Review Tribunal”:

    ISSUE DATE: May 15, 2015
    CASE NO(S): 14-096
    Appellant: Mothers Against Wind Turbines Inc.
    Approval Holder: Niagara Region Wind Corporation
    Municipality: West Lincoln, Wainfleet and Lincoln
    Upper Tier: Niagara Region and Haldimand County
    Heard: In writing, and orally on January 21, 2015 at Wainfleet, Ontario

    APPEARANCES:
    Director, Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change – Danielle Meuleman, Alexandra Mingo and Courtney Harris
    Niagara Region Wind Corporation – Dennis Mahony and John Terry

    ORDER DELIVERED BY MARLENE CASHIN, JUSTIN DUNCAN, AND DIRK VANDERBENT

    ‘[excerpt]
    The Economic Impact Issue
    [49] Regarding the Economic Impact Issue, the Tribunal agrees with the statement in
    Wrightman at para. 15 that:
    ‘However, the issue of real property valuation by itself does not
    fall within the grounds of either serious harm to human health or
    serious and irreversible harm to plant life, animal life or the
    natural environment. It is an economic indicator of the changes
    in the market value of land over time and is based on a range of
    factors. In the joint witness statement of Mr. McCann and Mr.
    Lansink, they state that they are “not experts regarding the
    health of persons nor… experts at determining if a person’s
    health is affected by neighbouring wind turbines… but are
    experts at reading the human species habitat market place…”
    Their proposed evidence relates to market stigma and is based
    on what they have been told by people who moved from their
    habitat as a result of “real or perceived” concerns with the health
    effects of wind turbines. Whatever its importance to individuals in
    the vicinity of a project, the potential effects of renewable energy
    projects on the value of real property is not a ground that the
    Legislature saw fit to have the Tribunal consider in REA appeals.’

    [50]
    The Tribunal notes that the Tribunal’s finding in Wrightman is that economic
    impacts, per se, do not fall within the Health or Environmental Tests. However, the
    Appellant’s position on the issue in this appeal is that adverse economic consequences
    can negatively impact human health. In response to this submission, the Approval
    Holder cites Fata, noting that, at para. 36 of the Tribunal’s order in that case, the
    Tribunal found:
    ‘Socio-economic status may well be a determinant of overall
    general health and well-being. However, as with the issue of land
    valuation in the citation above, it is based on a range of factors.
    The appeal before the Tribunal relates to the Director’s decision
    on this specific Project. The Tribunal finds that the alleged
    economic impacts of a loss of tourism potential are too remote to
    be considered within the scope of the human health impacts of
    this wind Project. The Tribunal finds that the economic impact
    arguments arising from impacts to tourism are more appropriately
    seen as land use planning questions; i.e., the choice of one land
    use over another, resulting in different economic outcomes.’

    [52] At this stage in the proceeding, the Tribunal need not make a determination on
    the relative merits of Ms. Rogers’ evidence. The question which the Tribunal must
    address is whether the economic impacts referenced by Ms. Rogers are too remote to
    be considered within the scope of the human health impacts of the Project. For the
    following reasons the Tribunal finds that they are not too remote.

    [53] In this proceeding, the Tribunal notes that the Appellant’s appeal expressly
    asserts that the meaning of human health which “best fits with the statutory scheme”, is
    the World Health Organization’s definition of health, which provides that “Health is a
    state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of
    disease or infirmity”. The subject matter of section 10.2 of Ms. Rogers’ witness
    statement is best described by a statement made by Ms. Rogers’ in this section: “Loss
    of income can lead to poverty and a decreased or impaired market value in real estate
    is an economic indicator that can be used to illustrate a measurable outcome for
    health.” In her witness statement, Ms. Rogers’ also provides evidence in support of the
    proposition that poverty is a determinant of health.

    [54] As the Tribunal has already noted, the Tribunal need not make a determination of
    the relative merits of this evidence at this stage. The Tribunal finds that Ms. Rogers’
    evidence describes how economic factors can impact human health, and does so in a
    manner which falls within the scope of the issues raised in the Appellant’s health
    appeal. On this basis, the Tribunal concludes that the economic impacts referenced by
    Ms. Rogers are not too remote to be considered within the scope of the human health
    impacts of the Project. For this reason, the Tribunal concludes that the Approval
    Holder’s request to strike this section of Ms. Rogers’ evidence should be denied.’

    Guess the Wrightmans failed to submit that loss of ‘home’ (the so-called “Economic Impact Issue”) negatively affects the health of the humans who lose it?

    Do you think ERT Panel Members and government lawyers Marlene Cashin, Justin Duncan, Dirk Vanderbent, Danielle Meuleman, Alexandra Mingo and Courtney Harris perceive their roles in the international wind energy racket?

    Do you think Dennis Mahony and John Terry perceive they are practicing extortion?

      • Have you been harmed?
        Are you being threatened with harm?
        Are you being forced to spend time, money and energies doing things you don’t want to?
        Therefore, are you being extorted?

    • New word: Whatever!

      The Economic Impact Issue
      ‘[excerpt] Whatever its importance to individuals in
      the vicinity of a project, the potential effects of renewable energy
      projects on the value of real property is not a ground that the
      Legislature saw fit to have the Tribunal consider in REA appeals.’

      It’s ‘whatever’ – you think ‘whatever’ is
      It’s ‘whatever’ – the Leftislature’ – saw fit to disregard
      It’s Liberal Ontario!

      Whatever!

      —————————————————————————————
      Strange – Nasty
      Liberal Ontario is bankrupt!
      Whatever!

  2. Install some IWTs in Toronto Centre and maybe some of the “cave” dwellers who live there will have to abandon their mating sites!

    • The GTA is only sustainable for water due to Lake Ontario. Otherwise not sustainable for food and electric power.

      And water supply has to be pumped up for high rise structures which requires electric power. Build up?

      There has to be a supply of protein for urban areas. The old Soviet Union and other Eastern Bloc countries supplied protein by ocean fishing and look what that led to.

      Long distance high voltage transmission lines will be needed to bring a limited supply of electricity from rural areas to the GTA which have to cross the green-belt.

      • The message was simple:

        Don’t complain about hydro corridors when you are in favour of IWTs being installed willy-nilly all over the province.

        Spare us the overview.

  3. Re-post from WCO. Also on Blackburn News

    Plympton-Wyoming noise by-law withdrawn due to Suncor legal action.

    Are more details available on this news?

  4. “Install some IWT’s in Toronto centre and maybe some of the “cave dwellers ” who live there will have to abandon their mating sites.”

    Yes, Barbara, you make an excellent point about the hypocrisy of the push to wind turbines. If IWT’s are so safe and so quiet, then why are they not placed in urban areas to save the cost of transmission lines? The justification at the time was to help farmers gain revenue and many jumped on the band wagon in the beginning. No one questioned that there has never been a cost benefit analysis . Now, as a direct consequence there are farm operations that can not afford the higher cost of electricity to keep their farm running. What a conundrum. The farmers that signed up for wind are actually putting other farmers out of business but then again, the “for the greater good ” farmers are dancing to the devils tune for the UN’s Agenda 21. Just as our Liberal dictators planned.

  5. It’s a guy thing – and should guys worry?
    …..you can just sit there…..

    ‘[excerpt] After wind turbine construction, they found an increased rate of lek abandonment at sites within eight kilometers of the turbines as well as a slight decrease in male body mass.’

    ————————————————————————————————————–

    Sales booster;
    marketing is everything!

    http://twitchy.com/2015/05/22/the-way-hillary-clintons-book-is-displayed-at-this-d-c-bookstore-is-the-funniest-thing-youll-see-tonight-photo/

    It’s Friday!

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