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Wolfe Island: high kill rate for birds. Ontario is "tough on Nature" say four Naturalist groups

Wolfe Island: high kill rate for birds. Ontario is “tough on Nature” say four Naturalist groups

Nature Canada News

In an unprecedented partnership, Nature Canada has been joined by Ontario Nature, the Kingston Field Naturalists and the American Bird Conservancy in opposition to a recently approved industrial wind energy project that threatens birds and other wildlife on Amherst Island.

“Ontario’s decision to approve Windlectric’s 26-turbine project on Amherst Island—one of the province’s crown jewels of nature—is another in a string of ‘tough on nature’ decisions to build wind energy projects in Important Bird Areas in the region” said Stephen Hazell, Nature Canada’s Director of Conservation.

“Given Ontario’s failure to consider the cumulative effects of these projects on nature, the Environmental Review Tribunal should overturn the approval of the Amherst Island Project as well as that of White Pines. And given the clear breaches of the federal Migratory Birds Convention Act, the federal government should in future apply its environmental assessment process to wind energy projects.”

Purple Martins, one of the species threatened by these projects. Photo Ted Cheskey

Amherst Island, Wolfe Island and the Prince Edward County South Shore Important Bird Areas, all within a few kilometres of each other, are on a bird superhighway during spring and fall migration. They also provide prime breeding habitat for the rapidly declining Purple Martin and several species at risk including Eastern Whip-poor-will, Bobolink, and the long-lived Blanding’s Turtle. 86 turbines were constructed on Wolfe Island in 2009.

Three years of monitoring this project confirmed its reputation as one of the most deadly wind energy projects in North America for birds and bats.

The recent approval of the Amherst and White Pines projects are very bad news for birds, bats, and turtles, and represent the significant industrialization of these ecological treasures. The “new” industrial landscapes will no doubt shock tourists used to the bucolic vistas of the region.

We are all awaiting the final decision on the Ostrander Point project proposal by the Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal. Valiantly defended by the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists, Ostrander Point is Crown land with habitat for rare species of animals and plants on the south shore of Prince Edward County. A proposal to build twelve 150 metre high wind turbines on it was approved, and then successfully appealed by the Naturalists, before passing through all levels of the Ontario judicial system.

Now it is back in the hands of the Environmental Review Tribunal for a final decision.

 

For more information visit http://www.saveostranderpoint.org/.

– See more at: http://naturecanada.ca/news/blog/nature-canada-and-its-partners-raise-their-voices-in-opposition-to-industrial-wind-energy-projects-in-fragile-ibas-in-the-eastern-end-of-lake-ontario/#sthash.RuDpOcug.dpuf

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