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Hawaii’s Wind Turbines are Taking a Toll on Endangered Species (The Industry says it’s a “net benefit”)

Watch the video accompanying this article and listen to the wind industry rep talk about how, in spite of these deaths, their turbines have a ‘net’ benefit.

Meanwhile, environmentalists turn their backs and say, “Collateral damage.”

Andrew Pereira — KITV4 news — May 2, 2014

HONOLULU —Hawaii’s push toward green energy is having an impact on flying creatures who live next to wind farms or traverse the spinning turbines, some of which stand 493 feet tall at the highest blade tips.

According to data provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 195 birds and bats and one moth were killed by five of the largest wind farms on Maui and Oahu since August 2007. KITV4 obtained the information after filling a Freedom of Information request with the agency.

“Unfortunately, that may just be the price we have to pay for wind energy, renewable energy,” said Angela Huntemer, a North Shore resident who has been working to promote wildlife conservation at Turtle Bay Resort.

According to statistics examined by KITV4, Kaheawa Wind Power 1, located on a ridge above Maalaea in southwest Maui, had the largest number of birds and bats killed, with 81. That was followed by the Kawailoa Wind Farm on Oahu’s North Shore with 54 kills, the Kahuku Wind Farm in Koolauloa with 30 kills, Kaheawa Wind Power 2 with 17 kills, and Auwahi Wind on Ulupalakua Ranch in southeast Maui with 13 kills. At Auwahi Wind, an endangered Blackburn’s sphinx moth was among the creatures killed by the spinning turbines.

However most concerning is the number of endangered birds and bats killed by wind turbines over a period of six years and seven months. According to statistics examined by KITV4, 25 Hawaiian hoary bats, 20 nene and four Hawaiian petrels have fallen victim to wind turbines.

Seventeen of the nene, Hawaii’s state bird, were killed at Kaheawa Wind Power 1, while three died at Kaheawa Wind Power 2. Nene are mostly found on Kauai, Maui and the Big Island, although a nesting pair recently hatched chicks in Kahuku.

Meanwhile the largest number of Hawaiian hoary bats killed, 12, died at the Kawailoa Wind Farm. That was followed by seven at Kaheawa Wind Power 1, three at Kahuku Wind Power, two at Kaheawa Wind Power 2 and one at Auwahi Wind Farm.

First Wind operates four of the five wind farms that reported “strike data” to the Fish and Wildlife Service, and was the first company to complete a habitat conservation plan at its Kaheawa Wind Power 1 location. Habitat conservation plans identify species likely to be impacted by wind turbines and prescribes mitigation efforts that will actually increase populations.  Continue reading here…..

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2 Comments on “Hawaii’s Wind Turbines are Taking a Toll on Endangered Species (The Industry says it’s a “net benefit”)”

  1. Lois Lane - MAWT May 3, 2014 at 6:59 am #

    Reblogged this on Mothers Against Wind Turbines Inc..

  2. cornwallwindwatch May 6, 2014 at 6:20 am #

    Reblogged this on Cornwall Wind Watch.

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