Would farms could be killing off wild birds.
A new study has revealed that the clearing of habitats to make way for new turbines is causing a 10 per cent decline in bird populations in the surrounding area.
Forest species such as chaffinches, great tits and gold-crests were among the worst hit.
By the middle of the century wind farms are set to provide a fifth of the world’s energy which could have severe impacts on overall biodiversity, scientists warn.
Scroll down for video
Bird populations are lower in areas with wind farms, scientists have found. Forest species such as chaffinches (stock image), great tits and gold-crests are the most affected, scientists from the University College Cork (UCC) found
The research came from a group of scientists at the University College Cork (UCC) in Ireland.
‘Most people are familiar with the problem of bird collisions with wind turbine blades,’ lead researcher Dr Darío Fernández-Bellon from UCC told RTE.
‘But this study highlights how indirect effects, such as the alteration of habitats, can also be important’.
‘Our study shows that wind farms have different effects on different bird species depending on the habitats they use and how these habitats are affected by wind farm development.’
Blade noise may also harm or deter birds, as well as visual disturbance and general levels of human activity around them, researchers found.
Dr Fernández-Bellon and his team looked at 12 upland wind farms in Ireland, according to the paper published in the journal Conservation Biology.
‘We conducted 506 point count surveys at 12 wind‐farm and 12 control sites in Ireland during 2 breeding seasons (2012 and 2013)’, researchers wrote.
‘Total bird densities were lower at wind farms than at control sites, and the greatest differences occurred close to turbines.’
Densities of forest species were significantly lower within 330ft (100m) of turbines than at greater distances, they found.
A new study has revealed that the clearing of habitats to make wind turbines is causing a 10 per cent decline in birds populations in the surrounding area (stock image)
Researchers say their work highlights the importance of turbines and infrastructure associated with them with reductions in biodiversity.
Last year it was revealed the same technology that lets soldiers see in the dark could also help protect birds and bats near offshore wind turbines.
Night vision goggles use thermal imaging, which captures infrared light that’s invisible to the human eye, and now, researchers are using thermal imaging to help birds and bats near offshore wind farms.
The thermal tracking software automatically detects birds and bats, which is useful for night tracking they’re hard to spot – and it could help inform policymakers about where new and existing offshore wind turbines should be placed.
The thermal imaging software, developed by researchers at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), is called ThermalTracker.
WHY ARE FLIGHTLESS BIRDS AT RISK OF EXTINCTION?
Birds are evolutionary designed to fly, with their bone structure, body size, feathers all allowing for powered flight.
Some birds are much better flyers than others, and there are various different methods.
For example, the albatross can soar for hours without flapping its wings once but the humming bird needs to flaps its wings up to 70 times a second to stay airborne.
Some species of bird have, over may generations and thousands of years, lost the ability to fly.
This only happens when it serves as an evolutionary advantage to do so.
In the event of the ostrich and the emu, they are large enough to protect themselves from predators and their large body mass makes flight nearly impossible.
Other birds, such as the kiwi, kakapo and the dodo, evolved on an island where there was, for millions of years, no natural predators.
This meant the animals got plumper, spent more time on the ground forging for food and stopped flying.
Whilst this was not an issue during these times of environmental stability, when humans made their way to these islands, they brought with pests such as rats and stoats which destroyed local populations.
Humans contributed to this decimation too, often hunting the birds and eating them.
As they had lost the ability to fly and had no built in fear of predators, they were easy pickings for predators.
As a result, kakapo and kiwi numbers on their native island of New Zealand has plummeted in recent years, with 25 million Kiwis beiing killed every year.
Today only about 40 kakapos survive in the wild.
The dodo is an example of how badly this can go,.
The 3 foot (one metre) tall bird was endemic to the island of Mauritius and was wiped out by visiting sailors and the dogs, cats, pigs and monkeys they brought to the island in the 17th century.
Its last confirmed sighting was in 1662 after Dutch sailors first spotted the species just 64 years earlier in 1598.
The dodo (left) is now extinct after a 17th century assault of hungry sailors destroyed the population of the docile, fearless birds. The kakapo (right) is a similarly flightless, fearless bird that is now struggling to survive and is currently endangered
- Loss of bees causes shortage of key food crops, study finds
- Can feeding insects to animals shake up farming as we know it?
- Antarctic penguins could experience a 'population boom' due to global warming as melting sea ice means they spend less time foraging for food
- New farming may lift tilapia’s reputation from the depths
- New species of cockatoo is discovered in Western Australia after researchers say the bird was 'hidden in plain sight'
- Reindeer herders find well-preserved mammoth bones in Siberian lake
- Study says Australia's bushfires harmed 3 billion animals
- World Environment Day 2020: how wildlife conservation organisations are finding unique ways to stay afloat this lockdown
- No wonder it's endangered! Rare Night Parrot that lives in the Australian outback 'has not evolved to see in the dark' putting it at risk of crashing into fences, study shows
- VIETNAM'S BUSINESS NEWS HEADLINES JULY 30
- Coronavirus latest: Record daily rise in new COVID-19 cases
- Giant Amazon Fish Species Discovered
- A Plague Is an Apocalypse. But It Can Bring a New World.
- Bringing World's Buried Wetlands Back From the Dead
- Meet Lizard Man, a reptile-loving biologist tackling some of the biggest questions in evolution
- Inside Scientology
- Australian bushfires: The tricks animals are using to survive
- It’s Fry-day! Britain to swelter in a 95F sizzler on the hottest day of the year so far – but thunderstorms could put a dampener on evening BBQs
- Bee orgies to biodiversity: lessons in becoming a beekeeper
- Australia's 'black summer' bushfires showed the impact of human-wrought change
Could wind farms wipe out BIRDS? Populations are much smaller close to turbines because their habitat has been ruined, study finds have 1130 words, post on www.dailymail.co.uk at October 25, 2018. This is cached page on Europe Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.