Crete Is Home To 1000 Endangered Griffon Vultures. Wind Turbines Are Projected To Kill 84 Of Them Per Year.

A potential wind turbine installation on the island of Crete may be poised to drive an endangered raptor population to extinction.

Recent studies have found the favored “renewable” energies – wind and solar – are not effective, even counteractive, when it comes to reducing emissions from fossil fuels.

Solar PV installation, for example, results in a net loss of energy, meaning that the net effect of solar energy use is ultimately more dependence on fossil fuels.

Image Source: Ferroni and Hopkirk, 2016

Due especially to its intermittent energy generation, the installation of wind turbines also necessitates eventual growth in fossil fuel energies to back them up (due especially to the frequent occasions when the wind is not blowing).

Image Source: Marques et al., 2018

Even worse, the installation of wind turbines have been well documented to destroy wildlife habitats (Marques et al., 2019, Millon et al., 2018, Lange et al., 2018, Barré et al., 2018). Frequent soaring species collisions may ultimately lead to widespread extinctions (Naylor, 2018 , Watson et al., 2018, Vasilakis et al., 2017 ) in the coming decades.

Roughly 25% of North American bats are now classified at risk for extinction (Hammerson et al, 2017) in large part due to the explosion of wind turbines across the landscape.

If the expansion of wind turbines continues at its current pace, the hoary bat population is projected to be reduced by 90% (Frick et al., 2017) within the next 50 years.

In a new paper (Xirouchakis et al., 2019), scientists detail the austere short-term mortality risks wind turbines pose upon an endangered griffon vulture on the island of Crete.

Considering the unreliability and counteractive effectiveness of wind turbine use in mitigating fossil fuel dependency, one needs to ask why we are willing to risk the extirpation of rare raptor species for the purpose of expanding “renewable” energies that increasingly seem to do more harm than good.

Image Source: Xirouchakis et al., 2019
“[T]he environmental impact of commercial wind power production on biodiversity has proved to be substantial [3–7]. Wildlife is affected by wind power production through habitat loss, disturbance and displacement and above all by increased collision risk with wind turbines [8–10]. Bird fatalities due to collision with wind turbines have been the most prominent and frequently identified environmental drawback of wind energy development. Bird casualties from collisions can reach up to 40 deaths per turbine per year [11] with large raptors suffering the greatest toll.”
We evaluated the consequences of wind farm development on the griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus) which was regarded as a suitable model species. Griffons are among the most collision-prone large soaring raptors and perhaps the most frequent victims of turbine blades in the Mediterranean region, i.e. up to 1.88 individuals/ turbine/ year [8]. Furthermore, assuming that the most crucial factor in minimizing the negative impact of wind farms on wildlife should be proper siting, we tried to estimate the potential collision mortality of the species by taking into account the existing and all planned wind energy projects on Crete.”
Crete holds the last healthy population in the country (ca. 1000 individuals) which constitutes the largest indigenous insular population worldwide.”
“The model predicted that 39% of the griffon colonies which were occupied by more than 15 individuals would account for 62% of the wind farms and vulture interactions and would suffer 65% of the expected mortalities. The overall collision mortality rate was estimated at 0.03 vultures/wind turbine/year producing an annual loss ranging from 3.7% to 11% of the species population. More specifically a total of 990 individuals were estimated to be at threat of striking with turbine blades. The scenario #1 predicted a mean annual mortality of 1.49 ± 1.12 individuals (range = 0.18–4.98) per colony, whereas the overall annual fatality was anticipated at 83.5 griffons.”

15 responses to “Crete Is Home To 1000 Endangered Griffon Vultures. Wind Turbines Are Projected To Kill 84 Of Them Per Year.”

  1. MGJ

    It’s enough to make you wonder whether Greens (as opposed to genuine environmentalists) really do give a **** about nature or whether they just use it as a battering ram to further their dreams of global Communism.

    1. Henning Nielsen

      There are lots of nice pictures of vultures on the internet. Videos too. Who wants them around for real, eating your dead dog?

      1. John F. Hultquist

        If there were no dead dogs, or any other dead things, the vultures would leave and find a reliable source of food.
        If they are gone, and there are dead things, then the place gets smelly.
        Besides vultures are fun to watch in the air.
        In Washington State we have Turkey Vultures.
        Video: Cathartes aura

  2. David Guy-Johnson

    Cue head in sand response from Turbine fans.

  3. Henning Nielsen

    Well, 84 vultures per year, that means they’re gone in about 12 years from now. Which is about the same time we have before the climate crises takes us all down the drain, if we don’t reduce emissions drastically, also by building wind power. So what do we choose? Vultures or life?

    1. William Lawrence Hyde


    2. greeklignite

      Wind power is the less efficient way to reduce emissions and that has been well documented for years now. Denmark is the best example, since it operates 17 big coal & gas power plants (5.426MW) and 1149 small local plants (3.368MW), to guarantee its basic load, while it exports the stochastic and so useless wind power to Norway, Sweden and Germany, via the Nord Pool System. It also exports wind turbines to fools.

      Wind energy is a cash machine for producers and a nightmare for all of us. If Denmark will cease operations in these 17+1149 power plants, then it will be the country without electricity.

      1. Henning Nielsen

        Not without electricity, only the lights would go on and off at excitingly different times of day and night. A stable grid is so boring.

  4. tom0mason

    So lets go ahead and destroy the natural world with these noisy, industrial monstrosities. It is completely illogical that we are littering the countryside with these industrial, only the demented politically left green idiots could ever think that these follies are an answer for anything.
    They are nothing but monuments to human stupidity!

  5. Yonason

    A bit off-road, but still great news.

    Speaking of “endangered species.”

    Honest scientist are all at risk. But here’s one who’s just been vindicated. Dr. Ridd has won his case.

  6. M E Emberson

    Henning Neilson. Please could you explain your comment? Emissions of what?
    Carbon dioxide or water vapour? How do you know it will take exactly 12 years for something to happen to take us all down what tube? Would we have time to build all the windmills before this point and once we build them would the climate then cease to do something as if we had flicked a switch? I would really like to know.
    So many people use jargon and demonstrate in the streets but do not define what they mean by the government ” Taking Action” They have a good time disrupting , though. as they did when waving rainbow flags or wearing pink hats.
    They have all gone on so long, though and convinced no one.

    1. Henning Nielsen

      Oh dear, Emberson. Guess I’ve been in the skeptic business too long. Because it seems very obvious to me that my comment was sarcasm.

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