Wind turbines create dead zones
Wind turbines create dead zones as wildlife vanish from areas that are surrounded by wind turbines. Reports from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service state that while wildlife might pass through these areas that they abandon their habitat choosing to live at least 10 miles away. This is confirmed on Wolfe Island, where short‐eared owls have abandoned their traditional habitat causing population dispersal. A resident living near Clear Creek Wind Farm in Norfolk County noted in an interview with CBC that wildlife has vanished from the area where she lives: “Now there’s no deer, no geese, no wild turkeys. Nothing.”
Wind turbines affect wildlife
According to wildlife biologist Dr. Scott Petrie clusters of wind turbines act as barriers to migrating bats, birds and butterflies. Birds suffer instant death or prolonged fatal injury from a run‐in with moving turbine blades, towers and transmission lines. The tower lights on the turbines add to the toll by attracting and/or confusing exhausted migrants at night and in foggy conditions.
Some migrants give industrial wind turbines a wide berth, thus increasing their energy expenditures and potentially reducing their fat stores. Migrants that arrive in the Prince Edward County IBA in the spring are already stressed and exhausted after a long journey across Lake Ontario. In being forced to travel even longer distances in order to bypass wind turbines and then having to find other suitable feeding and resting sites further jeopardizes their chances of survival.
Wind turbines obstruct the daily movements of wildlife as they move to and from resting and feeding areas. Raptors are significantly affected as they look down and sideways while flying and do not see the whirling blades in front of them. Bats have been lost by the thousands as they are attracted to the turbines for reasons unknown and are either struck by the turbine blades or die from barrel trauma when they encounter the air pressure changes in the air space adjacent to the moving blades. When barrel trauma occurs blood vessels and lungs and other organs rupture causing death.
Cumulative effects from industrial wind turbines pose major threats to wildlife. Direct collisions with wind turbines, barrier effects causing population dispersal and loss of traditional and specialized habitat are only some of the concerns. The effects that any specific wind turbine project will have on wildlife depends on a number of inter‐related factors such as turbine siting, habitats that are present in the area, the number and species of birds that are present in the area, the topography of the land, the location of the wind project relative to large bodies of water and increases in the number of turbines from new wind projects in the area. Despite the fact that cumulative effects studies are required by MNR’s statement of values, cumulative effects studies are not being carried out for WPD Canada’s White Pines project.