200 Blue Cranes expected to be killed by just one wind farm

Filed under: 'Green' Killing Machines vs Birds,Hot News |

Licened to be killed by wind farms

The “green” wind energy facility ‘West Coast One’ on the West Coast is expected to kill roughly 500 birds overall per year, including 12 killings of priority species, comprising nine Blue Cranes, two Lanner Falcons and one Black Harrier per annum, according to the pre-construction bird study that was recently finalized for the site.

Just 4 km South East of the ‘West Coast One’ WEF  (90.8MW ) another much bigger wind development, Nooitgedacht (271MW*)  will soon be constructed. Would this cause the bird mortality rates even to quadruple?

The area includes a bird flyway and birds monitored in the area are:

  • Flocks of overflying wetland and coastal birds, numbering from 10s to 10 000s of birds. Species of particular concern are Cape Cormorant, Greater Flamingo, Lesser Flamingo and Great White Pelican. These are all collision prone and possibly displacement prone species.
  • Non-breeding and breeding pairs of Blue Cranes. This is a threatened, endemic species, highly susceptible to collision mortality on power lines, probably susceptible to turbine collision mortality, and possibly susceptible to disturbance and displacement by the operating wind farm.
  • Resident and breeding and/or visiting raptors, in particular Black Harrier and a variety of other species including Lanner Falcon.

Blue Crane killings by wind farm

One of the question that should be asked is, how many ‘takes’ can a Blue Crane subgroup or that of the Black Harrier absorb before  it will cause these populations to become extinct in the Saldanha bay – Bergrivier area.

But the main question that should be asked is how is it possible that a development with such disastrous impact is permitted, yet alone, is labelled “green”?

South Africa has an agreement with the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds.  This agreement is an intergovernmental treaty dedicated to the conservation of migratory waterbirds and their habitats across Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, Greenland and the Canadian Archipelago.

The Cape Cormorant, Greater Flamingo, Lesser Flamingo, Great White Pelican and Blue Crane are all species applicable to the agreement..

In the agreement is stated:

“Parties shall regulate the modes of taking, and in particular prohibit the use of all indiscriminate means of taking and the use of all means capable of causing mass destructions, as well as local disappearance of, or serious disturbance to, populations of a species.”


South Africa has the obligation to protect these species, and no self-proclaimed “saviours of the planet” have the right to place itself above international and our world-class conservation laws.


* STEISA is waiting for the latest layout information and verification.

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