Parrots may block 2nd Australian wind farm

April 12, 2006

The Australian government has been given data showing wind turbine farm proposed in Tasmania would not harm endangered orange-bellied parrots.

Last week, the government blocked a $160 million wind farm proposal in the state of Victoria, citing the potential hazard to the birds.

But developers of a $212 million site in Tasmania presented a report by the Biosis research firm that said while the orange-bellied parrots were likely to pass through the wind farm site, the birds are not a "collision-prone species, but instead agile flyers, with excellent vision, and like all birds that fly at night have excellent night vision."

It said there was only one record of the parrot colliding with "any type of structure, which was with a lighthouse, The Australian newspaper reported.

"Orange-bellied parrots are agile flyers that can reach speeds of 95 mph and have been observed flying through dense forests in windy conditions without colliding," the report said.

Based on conservative assumptions, the report said, a worst-case scenario would be that one orange-bellied parrot would collide with the wind turbines every five years.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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