Wind turbine fatalities approach a level of concern in a raptor population

A paper in the Journal For Nature Conservatism points out that the level of Red Kite deaths at wind turbines in German is very high. They estimate 308 deaths in 2012 out of 9972 individual Red Kites.

With the projected increase in wind turbines, and the fact it is young breeding pairs being killed, the whole population may be threatened.

“Mortality from collisions with increasing numbers of wind turbines is a potential hazard to raptor populations, but the actual effects on a population scale have rarely been studied based on field data. We estimated annual collision numbers for Red Kites Milvus milvus in the German federal state of Brandenburg (29,483 km2). A hierarchical model considering carcass persistence rate, searcher efficiency and the probability that a killed animal falls into a searched area was applied to results of carcass searches at 617 turbines. Collision risk varied significantly with season. The model estimated 308 (95% CrI 159–488) Red Kite fatalities at 3044 turbines operating during 2012, representing 3.1% of the estimated post-breeding population of 9972 individuals. Using the potential biological removal (PBR) method, mortality thresholds of 4.0% were obtained for migratory Red Kite populations. This level of mortality may be reached when turbine numbers increase within a few years. Since wind turbine collisions may affect Red Kites throughout the global range, a more detailed assessment of the actual impacts on populations is needed, especially because the PBR does not account for the predominance of adult birds among the collision victims.”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s