Environment
7:42 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Wildlife Officials Outline Areas Of Concern For Wind Farm Projects

A new map detailing high-risk habitat areas for land-based wind energy projects has been posted online by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Credit U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

A new map detailing high-risk habitat areas for land-based wind energy projects has been posted online by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The map focuses on Eastern North Carolina, where most of the interest in wind energy development lies for energy companies.

Fish and Wildlife biologist Kathryn Matthews says the areas of greatest concern include corridors around the larger rivers on the outer coastal plain and near the existing 9 refuges, including Alligator River and Pocosin Lakes.

"...Mainly because these areas provide habitat over the winter for large numbers of migratory water foul," Matthews says. 

"For example, up to 70 percent of the eastern population of tundra swans (spend) winter there. And that's a lot of birds and not a very large area of the state."

Matthews says wind farms could be problematic if placed in areas where there are eagles' nests or where large numbers of migratory birds forage. She says wildlife officials are concerned about collisions with turbines and the loss of food sources.