Milwaukee Edition
Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print Feed Feed

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

Reiki Practitioner 
Teaches People to 
Be Their Best Selves

In addition to helping clients be their best selves through reiki, Rhiana Tehan also teaches all levels of reiki to those interested in becoming practitioners.

Ring In A Healthy New Year at the Winter Wellness Expo

The annual Winter Wellness Expo Lake Country, an event featuring over 30 holistic health vendors, classes, demonstrations and more, takes place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., January 20, at Abundant Joy Yoga & Wellness.

Waldorf Education Open House at Tamarack Waldorf School

Families are invited to visit Tamarack Waldorf School’s Open House from 1 to 4 p.m., January 28, to learn more about the unique Waldorf method of education offered for children in Pre-K through high school.

Extreme Kleaner Promotes Main Street Premium Brand Through Small Business

Extreme Kleaner has created a new program to partner with selected locally owned retailers through the exclusive placing of its Main Street Premium Brand in those stores.

Naturopathic Doctor to Lead Anti-Aging Workshop

Naturopathic doctor Sarah Axtell, of Lakeside Natural Medicine, will host an anti-aging workshop designed to enhance beauty, improve health and reverse signs of aging.

Add your comment: