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January 2018 Environmental changes and disturbance factors caused by wind turbines may act as potential stressors for natural populations of both flying and ground dwelling animal species.  Ecological Indicators Volume 84, Lopucki et al., 2018 

     “Living in habitats affected by wind turbines may result in an increase in corticosterone levels in ground dwelling animals…  The physiological stress response results in release of glucocorticoid hormones. LINK

Impacts of Industrial Wind Development On Wildlife and Ridgeline Habitat, PeakKeepers of Vermont’s Mountains. December 2013 (PDF)  (Web Version)

September 2007, Impacts of Wind Energy Facilities on Wildlife and Wildlife Habitat. The Wildlife Society. Technical Review Committee on Wind Energy Facilities and Wildlife

Mammals

July 2016. Wind turbines cause chronic stress in badgers. in Great Britain.  R. C. N. Agnew, V. J. Smith, , R. C. Fowkes. Journal of Wildlife Diseases: July 2016, Vol. 52, No. 3, pp. 459-467. https://doi.org/10.7589/2015-09-231   (PDF)

Ferrão da Costa et al., 2018     “According to a review by Lovich and Ennen (2013), the construction and operation of wind farms have both potential and known impacts on terrestrial vertebrates.  Results have shown that the main impact of wind farms on wolves is the induced reduction on breeding site fidelity and reproductive rates.

2008, Joris Everaert , English Abstract:  Effects of wind turbines on fauna in Flanders  Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek (Nature and Forest Institute), Brussels, Belgium. Download original document: “Effecten van windturbines op de fauna in Vlaanderen

Wolves

The Indirect Impacts of Wind Farms on Terrestrial Mammals: Insights from the Disturbance and Exclusion Effects on Wolves (Canis lupus) Gonçalo Ferrão da Costa, João Paula, Francisco Petrucci-Fonseca and Francisco Álvares

Birds

22 October 2018, Effects of development of wind energy and associated changes in land use on bird densities in upland areas, Darío Fernández‐Bellon, Mark W. Wilson, Sandra Irwin, John O’Halloran. Conservation Biology, Volume 0, No. 0, 1–10. 2018 Society for Conservation Biology. DOI: 10.1111/cobi.13239  https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.13239
Article impact statement: Wind farm effects on birds in upland areas are guild specific and mediated by changes in land use associated with wind farm construction.

 

July 2017, Summary of the Findings from Post-construction Monitoring Reports
Bird Studies Canada, Canadian Wind Energy Association, Environment Canada and
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources

Threats from industrial wind turbines to Ontario’s wildlife and biodiversity
Keith Stelling, Wind Concerns Ontario

June 2011, Caleb Gordon , U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, New Insights and New Tools Regarding Risk to Roseate Terns, Piping Plovers, and Red Knots from Wind Facility Operations on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf 

Wildlife Impacts report. LOWELLMOUNTAINSNEWS.FILES.WORDPRESS.COM

July 9, 2018, Springer Birds eat 400 to 500 million tons of insects annually – Along with spiders, insectivorous birds play a vital role in consuming insects that would otherwise destroy forests or crops. – “Forest-dwelling birds consume around 75 per cent of the insects eaten in total by birds which make up about 300 million tonnes of insects per year.”

Naylor, 2018     “While wind energy provides a viable solution for emission reductions, it comes at an environmental cost, particularly for birds. As wind energy grows in popularity, its environmental impacts are becoming more apparent. Recent studies indicate that wind power has negative effects on proximate wildlife. These impacts can be direct—collision fatalities—and indirect—habitat loss (Fargione et al. 2012; Glen et al. 2013).

Vasilakis et al., 2017     Numerous wind farms are planned in a region hosting the only cinereous vulture population in south-eastern Europe.  Cumulative collision mortality was expected to be eight to ten times greater in the future (proposed and operating wind farms) than currently (operating wind farms), equivalent to 44% of the current population (103 individuals) if all proposals are authorized (2744 MW). Even under the most optimistic scenario whereby authorized proposals will not collectively exceed the national target for wind harnessing in the study area (960 MW), cumulative collision mortality would still be high (17% of current population) and likely lead to population extinction.”

Geese, Waterfowl

Lange et al., 2018     “Results from our surface water extractions and aerial surveys suggest that the wind farm has negatively affected redheads through altered hydrology and disturbance displacement. … it is likely that this wind farm has affected other species that use these wetlands or migrate along the lower Texas coast (Contreras et al. 2017).
Studies in Europe investigating the effects on waterfowl by wind turbines have reported similar results, showing that turbines have likely compromised foraging opportunities for waterfowl through disturbance displacement (Larsen and Madsen 2000).”

2014, Preliminary studies on the reaction of growing geese (Anser anser f. domestica) to the proximity of wind turbines.  Results of the study suggest a negative effect of the
immediate vicinity of a wind turbine on the stress parameters of geese and their productivity. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/pjvs-2013-0096

Raptors

Wind farms have cascading impacts on ecosystems across trophic levels, Maria Thaker, Amod Zambre & Harshal Bhosale, Nature Ecology & Evolution (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41559-018-0707-z , https://www.nature.com/articles/s41559-018-0707-z

November 5, 2018, Wind farm ‘predator’ effect hits ecosystems: study, Patrick Galey. Phys.org
Wind farms act as a top “predator” in some ecosystems, harming birds at the top of the food chain and triggering a knock-on effect overlooked by green energy advocates

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-11-farm-predator-effect-ecosystems.html#jCp

Watson et al., 2018     “The global potential for wind power generation is vast, and the number of installations is increasing rapidly. We review case studies from around the world of the effects on raptors of wind-energy development. Collision mortality, displacement, and habitat loss have the potential to cause population-level effects, especially for species that are rare or endangered.”

Aschwanden et al., 2018    “The extrapolated number of collisions was 20.7 birds/wind turbine (CI-95%: 14.3–29.6) for 8.5 months. Nocturnally migrating passerines, especially kinglets (Regulus sp.), represented 55% of the fatalities. 2.1% of the birds theoretically exposed to a collision (measured by radar at the height of the wind turbines) were effectively colliding.”

Chiebáo, 2018     “I studied the large-scale movements of white-tailed eagles during the dispersal period, assessing their space use in relation to the distribution of existing and proposed wind farms across Finland.”
I found that a breeding pair holding a territory closer to an installation has a lower probability to breed successfully when compared to a pair from a territory lying farther away.

Lauren C. Naylor, GONE WITH THE WIND, Columbia University. Results of this study Suggest injuries sustained from collisions with wind turbines are unlikely to have a high rehabilitation success rate. Raptors either die on impact or suffer irreparable traumatic injury that results in euthanasia. This low success rate suggests that the use of Rehabilitation as a form of post-development mitigation would be ineffective.

Grouse

September 2017, Greater Sage-Grouse Overview and Effects of Wind Energy Development,  American Wind Wildlife Institute (AWWI), which facilitates National Wind Coordinating Collaborative, (NWCC), with funding from the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC, Managing and Operating Contractor for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy.
This NWCC fact sheet provides an overview of current knowledge on greater sage-grouse ecology, status, conservation challenges, and current conservation efforts, and presents a summary of recent research findings on the interactions between sage-grouse and wind energy development.  (This is a wind Industry document)

May 2013, Effects of Wind Power Development on the Population Biology of Greater Prairie-Chickens in Kansas,  National Wind Coordinating Collaborative.
This brief summarizes the key findings from the comprehensive seven-year research project on the effects of wind power development on Greater Prairie-Chickens.  (This is a wind Industry document)

McNew, L.B., L.M. Hunt, A.J. Gregory, S.M. Wisely, and B.K. Sandercock. Wind energy development does not impact the nesting ecology of an obligate grassland bird in a
fragmented landscape. Conservation Biology, submitted April 2013.

Winder, V.L., L.B. McNew, A.J. Gregory, L.M. Hunt, S.M. Wisely, and B.K. Sandercock. Effects of wind energy development on the survival of Greater Prairie-Chickens. Journal of Applied Ecology, submitted January 2013.

Bats

March 2018, Wind turbines impact bat activity, leading to high losses of habitat use in a biodiversity hotspot Millon et al., 2018  (full paper)   Ecological Engineering Volume 112, March 2018, Pages 51-54

Wind turbines impact bat activity, leading to high losses of habitat use… (Fleming and Racey, 2009).

Frick et al., 2017     Large numbers of migratory bats are killed every year at wind energy facilities. We show that mortality from wind turbines may drastically reduce population size and increase the risk of extinction. For example, the hoary bat population could decline by as much as 90% in the next 50 years. Our results suggest that wind energy development may pose a substantial threat to migratory bats in North America.

Hammerson et al, 2017      “Conservationists are increasingly concerned about North American bats due to the arrival and spread of the White-nose Syndrome (WNS) disease and mortality associated with wind turbine strikes. As of 2015, 18–31% of the species were at risk (categorized as having vulnerable, imperiled, or critically imperiled NatureServe conservation statuses) and therefore among the most imperiled terrestrial vertebrates on the continent.”

Fish

July 19, 2018, Letter On behalf of Trout Unlimited, on the New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC) transmission line.
” Consistent with our mission, TU’s primary concern will be the impacts of the project on habitat for cold water fish  … A large amount of currently forested habitat will be cleared for construction, and much of this will be permanently converted to cleared corridors. Clearing and construction of access roads and tower foundations may cause sedimentation and other impacts on water quality. Maintained corridors in riparian areas will remove trees that provide shade and will likely raise stream temperatures. ” 

Insects & Invertebrates

The Behavioral Ecology of Insect Vibrational Communication REGINALD B. COCROFT AND RAFAEL L. RODRÍGUEZ

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OTHER

More Wind Industry documents from: National Wind Coordinating Collaborative.