Wildlife Wipeout

Wind Turbines Kill Winged Creatures




J. Marijs/Shutterstock.com

Wind turbines make cleaner energy, but are dangerous to birds and bats. According to a study in the Wildlife Society Bulletin, approximately 573,000 birds and 888,000 bats are killed annually by wind turbines, which are providing increased wind power capacity nationwide. At one solar power plant in California, an estimated 3,500 birds died in just the plant’s first year of operation.

What would help most is offshore turbines and knowledge about migration routes. The safest place for wind turbines is in the ocean, because songbirds and bats don’t migrate over such waters. On land, many songbirds fly at night and can’t see the wind turbines until it’s too late. Once they’ve discovered the unsafe area, they avoid it. Because migration routes are based on availability of food, water and resting areas, birds are forced to fly around the turbines, adding miles to their trip and the burning of more calories.

Estimates of just how many bats are dying each year range from the tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands. Radar installations help to keep bats away from the deadly blades. Other remedies include slowing the blades at night to reduce collisions, which has proved to reduce overall wildlife deaths by 73 percent.

In 2016 the American Wind Energy Association announced voluntary guidelines to halt turbines during low wind speeds, when bats are most active, to reduce bat fatalities by 30 percent. With two more industry changes, bat fatalities could drop 90 percent: feathering, or turning the blades parallel to the wind so the turbines don’t rotate; and higher cut-in speeds so they don’t rotate in light winds.


Take action at NationOfChange.org/petitions/protect-bats-lethal-wind-turbines.


This article appears in the October 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Expecting Moms Need to Relax at Holidays

South Korean mothers-to-be whose first trimester occurred during the stressful New Year’s holiday delivered babies a third of an ounce lighter.

Meditation Soothes Anxiety and Improves Focus

A single mindfulness meditation session reduced anxiety levels for participants in a Michigan study, evident even a week later, and breath-based meditation enhanced mental clarity in an Irish study.

Blue Light Raises Cancer Risk

Spaniards exposed to the most blue light via white streetlight LEDs and screens on tablets and phones have up to twice the risk of prostate and breast cancer.

Rosemary Lowers the Blues, Aids Sleep and Memory

Iranian students taking rosemary for a month saw their anxiety and depression drop and their memory and sleep improve.

Dark Chocolate Proven Healthier than Ever

Chocolate with at last 70 percent cacao can reduce stress and inflammation and boost infection-fighting cells and creativity.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags

See More »This Month

Grooming Environmental Stewards in High School

At Mather High School (MatherHS.org), on the northwest side of Chicago, an afterschool garden program is connecting students to nature.

How to Be a Happy Woman

It's hard to read Sara Avant Stover’s new book, The Way of the Happy Woman: Living the Best Year of Your Life, without wanting to curl up with a hot cup of green tea and a blanket and devour it in one sitting.

The Power of Personal Connection Seminar

For those seeking romance, business partners, loyal employees, a wise teacher or wanting to improve existing connections, Dr. Laurel Clark will present a seminar, The Power of Personal Connection.

Experience a Consciousness Shift with Dalian

Self-realized mystic and internationally acclaimed master healer, Eliza Mada Dalian, will present a workshop at the Infinity Foundation, in Highland Park.

New Healthy Bread Line From Zapp’s

Zapp’s Dancing Grains, based in Glenview, has launched a new line of Good Carb Breads.

Nirvana Naturopathics Relocates to Deerfield

Nirvana Naturopathics is moving to 707 Lake Cook Road, Suite 100, in Deerfield, effective September 13, at the intersection of Pfingsten and Lake Cook roads.