Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Small portion of bird deaths are from wind farms; cell and radio towers are more deadly

Critics of wind farms sometimes use the argument that turbines kill a large number of birds and bats.  A peer-reviewed study published Monday in PLOS ONE by Western Ecosystems Technology (WEST) says the number of birds killed by wind farms pales in comparison to bird deaths from other human-related sources.

"Wind turbines kill between 214,000 and 368,000 birds annually—a small fraction compared with the estimated 6.8 million fatalities from collisions with cell and radio towers and the 1.4 billion to 3.7 billion deaths from cats," Wendy Koch reports for USA Today.

The study, which used data from 116 studies in the U.S. and Canada, says that 63 percent of reported fatalities were small birds of 156 different species, Koch writes. Lead author Wallace Erickson said, "We estimate that on an annual basis, less than 0.1 percent ... of songbird and other small passerine species populations in North America perish from collisions with turbines." (Read more) (WEST graphic: The dots show the locations of the 116 studies)

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