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Save the Eagles International denounces Bird Societies and "hired guns" consultants




21 May 2010 - for immediate release:


The Yaloak wind farm project alone is likely to kill 200-300 eagles. Consultants Biosis Research Pty Ltd. caught red handed manipulating the science.

Yaloak, Victoria, is a repeat of the Woolnorth windfarm fiasco in Tasmania. There, 20 wedge-tailed eagles have been hacked to their deaths by turbine blades. More of them may have been killed at other wind farms on the island but the authorities are not keen to find out, much less to inform the public. Mitigation attempts have all failed, so the carnage won´t stop. The Tasmanian Wedge-Tailed Eagle is a sub-species of the mainland “Wedgie”. Already on the endangered list, it is now condemned to extinction as the Tassie government is transforming its habitat into an aerial minefield.

On continental Australia, its cousin species is more abundant; but a larger number of wind farms will be built in its breeding territories and dispersion areas, acting as "black holes" - i.e. population sinks. Yaloak is a case in point: next to the proposed wind farm is an escarpment that attracts transient eagles. They come from Victoria, NSW, SA, and possibly beyond. There will be an ongoing massacre. The bird population of the bordering Brisbane Ranges National Park will too be affected. It is ecological vandalism, no less, and it is endorsed by the State of Victoria.

Wind turbines are more dangerous to raptors than are land mines to people, for they have the strange property of attracting these birds. Dr. S. Smallwood et al. have found evidence of this. At the huge Altamont Pass wind farm in California, scientific studies have shown that over 35,000 raptors, including 2,000-3,000 golden eagles, have been killed in 27 years of operation, by wind turbines of all types and ages. There are now indications that the golden eagle population is declining in California and beyond, notwithstanding a junk-science report by the favourite US consultant of the industry.

We publish statistics evidencing that significant bird and bat mortality is occurring at windfarms all over the world, in proportion to abundance of potential victims. Bird societies won’t publish this disturbing evidence. The deep pockets of the industry have created an overwhelming conflict of interest in the ornithology profession. Few people realise that windfarm interests are the main employers of ornithologists and benefactors of bird societies. This is having deleterious consequences for bird life.

The impact assessment procedure needs an overhaul. Consultants’ independence should be encouraged, protected, and guaranteed, while in reality the opposite is occurring. We have an absurd system where developers are asked to assess with their hired guns (consultants) the damage their projects will cause to the environment. Who would be naïve enough to ask Exxon to assess the damage done by the Exxon Valdez?

More after the picture...

Golden eagle, deadly injured by a wind turbine at Altamont Pass, California - courtesy of Dr. Shawn Smallwood

Consultants Biosis Research failed remarkably at predicting mortality for Woolnorth, yet keep using the same erroneous recipe for Yaloak. In our objection we denounce the deceptive tricks of Biosis, and the duplicity of Birds Australia. We show that, by arbitrarily selecting the avoidance rate, it is possible to predict mortality "a la carte", and choose whatever figure is needed to obtain the approval of any windfarm project.

The dice are loaded, but bird societies don´t seem to mind. Money talks. In the US, the Massachusetts Chapter of the Audubon Society first opposed a windfarm project offshore Cape Code saying it could kill up to 6,000 birds a year, including roseate terns (classified “endangered species” in the US). Several years and a multi-million-dollar monitoring contract later, they endorsed the project. - Need we say more?

In the UK, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) rent their name to a utility company which sells “RSPB Energy”, whose name implies that renewable energy is harmless to bird life. Yet wind turbines are killing several million birds (and bats) across the world each year, a great many of them from threatened species (1). Bird life declines, but bird societies prosper.

Wind farms combine subventions (money to be made at the expense of taxpayers), and a powerful moral excuse for raping the land: global warming - even if independent engineers, economists and climatologists disagree. This combination of greed and alleged moral high ground is corrupting everything to do with wind farms, including ornithology and the noble goal of preserving our natural treasures.

Real mortality statistics from Woolnorth, Smola, Altamont and elsewhere have proved that collision modelling misleads decision makers to the point of causing biodiversity disasters instead of avoiding them. The fate of the Tasmanian Wedge-Tailed Eagle, for instance, was sealed by the “error” of biased consultants.
If great, iconic birds being killed into extinction can´t stop the combined greed of windfarm developers, politicians and bird societies, nothing will. The cumulative impact of thousands of wind turbines will play havoc with Australia´s spectacular, unique, and world-famous bird life. Should we allow the future of Australian biodiversity to be decided by failed computer models manipulated by discredited consultants?

Our findings are backed by documented evidence, as detailed in our objection to the Yaloak project (2) Our paper includes a wealth of scientific references and a detailed critique of "collision modelling", which is being used as a weapon of mass deception.

Mark Duchamp

(1) Chilling Statistics

(2) Windfarm project likely to kill 200-300 eagles - Australia

Contact: Tel : + 34 693 643 736 save.the.eagles@gmail.com

Detailed critique of the Yaloak wind farm project:
Wind farm project likely to kill 200-300 eagles - Australia

Further developments on this case:
Wind farms: suspicious error by consultant condemns Tasmanian eagle to extinction
Will Australia approve eagle-killer windfarm at Yaloak, rewarding mendacious consultant?
Does the Australian government care about biodiversity? - Yaloak is the test.

Note: the date below is inserted automatically by the webpage programme, and that has gone wrong lately. The date of the media release is the one indicated at the beginning of the text.

Insertado por: Mark Duchamp (21/05/2010)
Fuente/Autor: Save the Eagles International



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