Are wind turbines slaughtering Whooping Cranes?

Sep 8, 2012


Whooping Crane flock numbers plunge during Winter 2011-2012.  Wildlife biologist implicates wind turbines.

Jim Wiegand, California “raptor” specialist and Berkeley-trained wildlife biologist

This graph speaks volumes.  (Editor’s note:  Click here for the complete graph, of which the following is but a portion.)

With the installation of thousands of new turbines planned for Central Flyway states, the Wood Buffalo-Aransas Whooping Cranes could disappear even sooner than 2017. The Whooping Crane Conservation Association is very aware that a true crisis has developed. Yes, drought conditions can stress a species, but these declines are not from drought.

The time to move is today! For this to happen the public needs to reject the wind industry lies and cover-up about their impact on this species. There really is enough indirect evidence to conclude the wind industry is killing these birds.

It’s obvious from the graph that in the last several years mortality has skyrocketed. The fact that no Whooping Crane death has been ever recorded at a wind farm is true—though meaningless.  Wind farms are patrolled daily by personnel looking for bodies, and a huge white bird would be hard to miss.  By now everyone should realize that Big Wind operates in complete secrecy, with absolute control of their wind farms.  (Don’t believe me?  Try changing the regulations so a body could not be hidden. Such an initiative would meet head-on with every ounce of resistance the industry could muster.)

A sliced-up Whooping Crane body will never be produced from a wind farm.  And should one happen to die with a transmitter attached, wind energy employees will simply take the transmitter and give it a ride away from the site.

“No dead body equals no evidence and therefore we are innocent” is, I submit, patent bullshit.

here and here for companion articles by Wiegand.

  1. Comment by Jim Wiegand on 01/12/2013 at 3:01 pm

    Based on the steady increases in population prior to 2006, the current 2013 whooping crane population should be in the range of 375-400. Sadly it is not even close. On January 4, 2013 The Whooping Crane Conversation Association posted this message on their site.

    Total Whooper Population Count Urged:

    Whooping Crane Conservation Association (WCCA) president Lorne Scott has urged Secretary Ken Salazar, U.S. Department of the Interior to resume regular aerial total population counts of whooping cranes on Aransas Refuge. The aerial census of the total whooping crane population has been used for the past 61 years. During 2012, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decided to convert to a statistical survey method using hierarchical distance sampling. In a letter to Secretary Salazar, President Scott writes, “The WCCA sees the total count census as the most practical, economical and having the most scientific value”. Citing the Service’s “2011-2012 estimate of 254 plus or minus 62 Whooping Cranes”, Scott wrote, “This degree of uncertainty for a critically endangered species is simply unacceptable.

    “The WCCA sees the total count census as the most practical, economical and having the most scientific value. Three aerial counts between December 1 and 20 would provide a good count of the total number of birds arriving in the winter population. Flights every two weeks, after the December 20 count, until the cranes return north, would provide estimates of population losses during the winter. We note that as of December 27, 2012, the Aransas Refuge new website still does not report any crane numbers from approximately seven flights conducted this fall. We urge you to resume regular aerial total population counts as soon as possible”.

    President Scott’s complete letter is posted at this site:

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