Friday, August 6, 2010 - 9:50 AM

OOS 55-6: Wildlife impact of wind power generation: Bird and bat collisions in Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Mexico

Rafael Villegas Patraca, Instituto de Ecologia AC


Conflicts between bird conservation and other human interests may arise in a variety of situations. Technological advancements and progress at large may conflict with maintenance of bird migration. Wind-farms as a form of alternative energy sources may create problems for some bird species. The impact of wind farms on wildlife is worth mention as the wind industry well knows there have been some disastrous consequences for wildlife. In Mexico this technology is new. Several foreign companies will develop the largest wind-farms in Latin-American in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Oaxaca, Mexico. 14 Point counts were used in a period of 3 years. A  counting raptor site were used in a period of two years.

Results/Conclusions During 12 field work surveys in the last three fall bird migratory season more than 5 millions of migratory raptors mainly Turkey vulture,  Swainson hawk and broadwing hawk with a maximum of 70 m flying high were found around the potential site for the wind-farm corridor. There is a potential high risk that birds will collide with the wind turbines of 90 m high in operation because this area is one of the most important bird migration routes in the world. It can affect population of migrant birds that over-flies the turbines area. This study will provide information of potential risk of birds collision.