An international team of scientists notes that birds of predatory raptoris are four times less likely in the plateau areas where wind turbines are present
PARIS, France – Wind farms act as a top "predator" in some ecosystems, damaging the birds at the top of the food chain and triggering an effect that is overlooked by green energy advocates, scientists said today.
The wind is the fastest growing sector of renewable energy sources, which supplies around 4% of the world's demand for electricity.
Nearly 17 million hectares – the area around the cluster of Tunisia – is currently used to generate wind energy worldwide, and researchers have warned that developers "have greatly underestimated" the impact that technology has on wildlife.
In a new study, an international team of scientists studied the effects of the use of the wind turbine in West Ghats, the mountain and forest species mentioned by UNESCO in the West Coast West region, and the global "hotspot" of biodiversity.
They found that birds of predatory raptors were four times less common in plateau areas where wind turbines, a breakdown that had fallen into the food chain, and radically changed the density and behavior of the bird's prey, were present.
In particular, the team spotted an explosion in a favorite meal of favorite meals, lobsters run by fans, in areas where turbines dominate.
In addition, significant changes in the behavior of lizards and appearance, living in the same way as in the environment without a predator, were observed.
"For us, there have been exceptional changes in the behavior, morphology and physiology of these lizards," said Maria Thaker, assistant professor at the Indian Institute of Science at the Center for Ecological Science and author of the study.
As the raptors descended around turbines, the level of predatory attacks that lizards were dealing with was also present.
For this reason, the group found that lizards living in wind farms and around them have reduced their attention to potential hazards.
People in a study simulating predators would be able to reach five times closer to the lizard in the zones of wind farms than those who live away from the turbines before the beings escaped.
"Be smart with green energy"
After testing they found that lizards in the vicinity of wind farms had lower levels of stress hormone, which had to occur within two decades since the wind farms were built in the western Gatami.
It is known that wind farms are harmful to birds that interfere with migration patterns and lead to an above-average mortality rate.
Thaker said that her study, published in Nature Ecology & Evolution, revealed that wind power plants are repeating their role as the ultimate predator in the food chain by keeping crowds in the bay.
"They trigger changes in the animal's ecosystem balance as if they were the most predatory," she said.
"These are" predators "of raptors – not in terms of killing them, but by reducing the presence of raptors in these areas."
As carbon emissions from human beings continue to increase, Thaker said that wind energy is crucial to mitigating the effects of climate change.
But with the evidence that the impact of wind farms is even more attuned to earth's ecosystems than previously mentioned, she called for greater consideration of the environmental impact of a vital source of green energy.
"It took decades to get scientists to realize that wind turbines have a negative impact on flying animals," Thaker said.
"We should be smart about how we are introducing green energy solutions. Let's reduce our imprint on the planet and put the turbines in places that are already in some way disturbed – on buildings eg" – Rappler.com
Picture of a wind turbine from Shutterstock