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How are Birds affected by wind turbines?

When considering the issue of sustainability and creating a more sustainable future, the focus is all too often tied directly to emissions and how they can be reduced. Oftentimes this means the only thing a company or country focuses on is reducing the amount of carbon dioxide or similar warming emissions, leaving other sustainability goals behind. Although this practice is beneficial in slowing down and mitigating climate change, sustainable development cannot and should not only focus on reduction of emissions to produce the best case results. There are many other factors that should be considered when developing sustainable practice such as human rights, livability of cities or ecological health. Factors like these help to not only save the world from climate related disasters but produce a stronger, fairer and more resilient world to live in in the future.

Ecological considerations, that is ensuring plants and animals are widespread and biodiverse to create a healthy environment, are very important in developing a sustainable planet. Ensuring biodiversity in countries around the world creates resilient ecosystems to threats like disease and preserves the beauty of the planet. Ensuring wild animals have room to live and thrive is key to this. Unfortunately, the continuous growth of human settlements, cities and populations has led to animals being pushed into smaller and smaller wild areas or forced to adapt to increasingly hostile urban environments.

Preserving safe spaces for wild animals to live is an important goal for TESUP. Unfortunately, the wind turbines provided by TESUP could pose a threat to birds living in and around residential areas in which TESUP turbines are commonly deployed. Birds are an important part of many ecosystems playing many important roles. Smaller birds such as bluebirds, swifts and warblers also known as Insectivorous birds are key to keeping insect populations in check, drastically reducing the likelihood of plagues of insects and protecting human food production by consuming 400 to 500 tonnes of insects annually.

These small birds also interact strongly with plants, acting as pollinators for some plants with brightly coloured flowers and as seed spreaders, eating seeds and spreading them away from the plant. Larger birds such as crows or even vultures act as scavengers, removing dead animals and preventing the spread of disease. Even larger birds such as owls, eagles, falcons or other predatory birds control rodent populations, preventing them from spreading diseases. With all these benefits and more that birds can provide to ecosystems as well as human populations, it makes sense to protect these populations of birds as much as possible.

Unfortunately, TESUP turbines usually sit right in the flight path of birds as this is the optimal height to harness wind energy. Although uncommon, Birds may have trouble seeing the fast moving blades and collide with them, injuring the bird. Birds being injured by wind turbines disproportionately affects certain bird species populations. For example, studies across the US and Europe have hghlighted a number of cases in which Large Eagles, California Condors and Marbled Murrelets have flown into wind turbines and been injured. This is particularly damaging as these species are endangered with particularly slow reproduction rates of only one chick per year, potentially threatening bringing these species closer to extinction.