Towers Kill Millions of Birds

This article in the Montreal Gazette reports on the danger that communication towers pose to birds. Wildlife authorities estimate close to 7 million birds are killed annually by the 84,000 communication towers in Canada and the United States.

High voltage power line towers and lines kill even more birds. An estimated 174 million birds are killed annually in the United States, colliding with high voltage power lines, shield wires and towers. Following is an example closer to home.

Based on extrapolations from the literature, and the high numbers of birds and bird species present along the proposed Heartland power line, as many as 14,100 birds could get killed annually along the 66-kilometre overhead line between the Ellerslie community in Edmonton and the Industrial Heartland. These data were presented as expert testimony at the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) Heartland hearing last year; however, the information was essentially ignored by the Commission.

The only way to effectively reduce bird deaths from collision with power lines, shield wires and towers is to bury the lines, especially near areas with known high bird populations. Simply put, buried power lines do not kill birds.

Unfortunately, the Alberta government, the transmission industry in Alberta, AUC and Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) refuse to recognize the benefits of burying these lines. Undergrounding even makes sense from a cost perspective, because when you combine the capital, maintenance and transmission loss costs over the life of a line, buried lines are cheaper than overhead lines. And when you factor in property devaluation caused by overhead high voltage lines, buried lines are a lot cheaper than overhead lines.

~ by RETA on April 29, 2012.

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