Thursday, November 08, 2018
Turbines Kill So Many Birds They're Effectively an Apex Predator
We’ve long since known that wind turbines are a danger to birds. A typical wind farm can kill thousands of birds every year, including raptors like falcons and eagles. The deaths of these larger birds are the real problem because they can cause ripple effects throughout the entire ecosystem.
Take, for instance, a wind farm in the Western Ghats region of India, where a group of researchers from the Indian Institute of Science performed their study. In the area of the wind farm, raptors were around four times less common than in other areas. They kept dying to the turbines, which is not great for the raptors but good news for fan-throated lizards, the raptors’ prey. In and around the wind farm, lizard populations exploded, completely unchecked by predation. So few of them were being eaten that they even lost almost all fear of danger. The researchers found they could approach the lizards without their running away. The lizards, in turn, reduced the population of their own prey species, causing a dramatic change in the ecosystem...MORE