On November 23rd, the Arava Institute and the Renewables Grid Initiative co-hosted Wind and Wings, a webinar on the challenge of ensuring bird protection near onshore wind farms, a challenge made particularly difficult given the quantity and diversity of birds that migrate through Israel as part of their annual migration patterns.
After a brief kickoff presentation on the limited presence of wind farms in Israel by Dr. Tareq Abu Hamed, Executive Director of the Arava Institute, Dr. Yoav Perlman of BirdLife Israel spoke about the diversity of birds that migrate through Israel to Europe and Africa. Dr. Perlman argued that due its role as the primary “global migration highway” for birds, Israel should refrain from building any additional onshore or offshore wind farms without first closely studying the effects of its current wind farms on bird populations.
Several European scholars then shared some of the cutting-edge tools they work with, among them mapping software that facilitates siting wind farms in locations that are comparatively benign, as well as EoIpop, a tool which quantifies the demographic impact on bird mortality over time as the result of collisions with wind turbines. The webinar concluded with a lively 30-minute Q&A session. The webinar is available on the RGI website as well as on YouTube.