Wind farm © Pixabay.com
Bonn, 13 October 2017 - Results from the first global scientific review of the impacts of wind farms on bird and bat populations could help guide the design and location of such facilities to reduce animal mortality from collisions.
The study, published in September 2017, related collision rate to species-level traits and turbine characteristics to measure the potential vulnerability of 9,538 bird and 888 bat species globally.
The researchers found that migratory birds were particularly vulnerable to collisions, and that 31 of the 55 birds considered ‘threatened’ by wind farms were birds of prey. Species of bat, that dispersed further, on average, had a higher risk of collision than those that did not. Collision rates were predicted to be higher for bats than for birds.
It is essential that we consider the impacts of wind farms on populations of both bats and birds, especially migrants and wide-ranging species,the authors said.
The UN Sustainable Development Goals call for access to affordable energy as well as action to combat climate change, yet they also call for ecosystems to be protected and for a halt in biodiversity loss. With demand for renewable energy growing, it is important that the sector works in tandem with conservationists to ensure that the plight of vulnerable species is not sidelined. Wind farms and hydroelectric dams as well as transmission lines are of particular concern, affecting avian, terrestrial and aquatic wildlife.
The Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) has developed guidelines for planners and power companies to reduce the impact of renewables and created an Energy Task Force to work with governments, multilateral environmental agreements, investors, academic and Non-Governmental Organizations to support their implementation.
At COP 12 in the Philippines, CMS will forward an updated resolution on renewable energy and migratory species with a call for Parties to implement the guidelines. It also urges commitments on:
View here the full resolution on renewable energies.
For interviews or to speak to an expert, please contact:
Florian Keil, Coordinator of the Joint Communications Team at the UNEP/CMS and UNEP/AEWA Secretariats
Tel: +49 (0) 228 8152451
Veronika Lenarz, Public Information, UNEP/CMS Secretariat
Tel: +49 (0) 228 8152409
Last updated on 13 October 2017