Turbines' bird harm flagged

Populations of breeding birds decline the closer they live to wind turbines, an RSPB study has claimed.

The survey of 12 upland wind farms in Scotland indicates that the number of birds of high conservation concern falls when the turbines are sited "inappropriately" due to "disturbance displacement". The report found that the breeding densities of seven different species fell by 15 to 53 per cent within 500m of the turbines.

RSPB Scotland senior conservation scientist James Pearce-Higgins said: "The results emphasise the need for wind farms to avoid areas with high densities of vulnerable species such as curlews and golden plover."

The study was funded by the RSPB Scotland, Scottish Government, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Scottish Mountaineering Trust.

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