Forest Fragmentation and Habitat Disruption



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Forest Fragmentation and Habitat Disruption


  • Fragmentation of habitat from installation (i.e. construction of roads and transmission lines, etc.) and operation of turbine.




  • Introduction of unwanted and invasive species.




  • Soil erosion is a common environmental effect from the installation of a wind turbine. Soil has to be disturbed and moved in order to put in a turbine. This is particularly devastating for hard-packed soils of deserts, or soft, moisture-rich soils. If not carefully handled, mud slides can occur which can damage nearby residences and local habitats. The installation of access roads also greatly affects the soil in the area.


Wildlife


  • Bird and bat deaths are most controversial issues related to wind turbines. Ideal wind sites are usually areas with a large population of birds and large raptors. The concern is that too many birds will be hit by the rotating blades, which will ultimately effect local bird populations. Along with this is a concern for endangered or protected species of birds, especially migratory birds.




  • Studies have shown that most of the bats killed by turbines are migratory and roost in trees throughout most of the year. The highest concentration of deaths is during the autumn migration. The bats that are largely affected in North America are the hoary bat, eastern red bat, and the silver-haired bat (Cryan et al, 2007).




  • Migration routes are affected.




  • SGCN


Open Water


  • Arctic tern (ME); Atlantic puffin (ME); sea turtles (NJ); Humpback (SC)


Rocky Coastline and Island Habitats


  • American Oystercatcher (ME); Bald Eagle (ME, DE); Great Blue Heron (ME); Snowy Egret (ME); Eastern Big-Eared Bats (VA); Northern Flying Squirrel (VA); Myotis (Gray, Southeastern, and Eastern Small-footed – VA; SC)


Mountaintop Forest Habitat


  • Bicknell’s Thrush (ME); Red bats (PA); Hoary bats (PA); Golden Eagles (PA); Timber Rattlesnakes (PA); Red Crossbill (VA)


Marine and Estuarine Habitats


  • Longtail Duck (MA); Common Eider (MA)

References:

Cryan, Paul M., and Brown, Adam C. 2007. “Migration of Bats Past a Remote

Island Offers Clues Toward the Problems of Bat Fatalities at Wind



Turbines.” Biological Conservation, 139:1-11.

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