World Council for Nature

Greater Prairie Chicken in peril

Wind farms may cause extinction of Greater Prairie Chicken

The following scientific paper has come to our attention, published by Science Daily on 6 May 2015:
Vulnerable grassland birds abandon mating sites near wind turbines – Central Ornithology Publication Office

Quote: “The findings of this study reinforce the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recommendation that no new wind energy development should be done within an eight-kilometer buffer around active lek sites.”
Note: “lek sites” refer to the reproduction areas of the Greater Prairie Chicken.

The study has found that these birds may abandon their leks as far as 8-km away from a wind turbine. This makes a large area. Multiply this by thousands of wind turbines installed or to be installed in the Great Plains and you have a “threatened” species squeezed out of its habitat.

This is why the US Fish & Wildlife Service has come up with this recommendation. The question is: will local authorities respect the wish of the FWS? This remains to be seen. Based on our experience, the wind industry will run roughshod over this obstacle to its development. It has an extremely powerful lobby, funded by taxpayers through the Production Tax Credit.

The saddest part of all this is that wind turbines do not even save on harmful emissions, because they need fossil fuel power stations to regulate their variable, uncontrollable production. And while ramping up and down all day, these back-up plants spew twice as much pollution into the atmosphere, like a car caught in city traffic. Here lies the whole controversy about wind turbines, and many retired engineers are not afraid to say that they are useless.

Not only that, but they are harmful to boot: ill-effects of infrasound on neighbors, carnage of birds and bats, high cost of subsidies, high electricity prices, destruction of jobs, etc.