CLAIM: Wind farms are a threat to bird populations – and their harmful effect on bird populations is only getting worse as more wind farms are built.
- In 2007, the National Academy of Sciences estimated that wind energy is responsible for less than 0.003% of (3 of every 100,000) bird deaths caused by human (and feline) activities. (Source: National Academy of Sciences, http://bit.ly/NuJjHx)
- Non-renewable energy sources “pose higher risks to wildlife” than renewable sources. Coal – which wind directly replaces – “is by far the largest contributor” to wildlife risks, according to researchers (Source: New York State Research and Development Authority, http://bit.ly/MLUtb7)
- According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, wind energy is not even close to being a leading cause of mortality with respect to birds. In fact, 2 million birds are killed annually in oil and wastewater pits, at least 60 million are killed every year by vehicles and up to 900 million birds are killed each year by building window strikes. (Source: U.S, Fish and Wildlife Service, http://1.usa.gov/bZFrr)
- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has also said that the 440,000 bird deaths often attributed to the division are not considered official agency statistics, and the actual number is likely much lower. (Source: PolitiFact, http://bit.ly/zYjaX2)
- Repowering of old turbines in Altamont Canyon, California, site of the most conflicts between wind turbines and birds (golden eagles in particular), has reduced collisions by around 80 percent. (Source: NBC Nightly News, http://youtu.be/RpGxrcvf_0I)
- The wind industry has a long history of proactively collaborating with the environmental community to address impacts and protect wildlife via groups like the Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative, the American Wind Wildlife Institute and the National Audubon Society. (Source: Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative, http://bit.ly/QGq9jp)