Gazette Letters - Dozens of eagle deaths predicted

Sir, – The article in last week’s Stornoway Gazette entitled ‘Huge potential for wildlife tourism’ featured Alasdair Allan taking a boat tour just north of the area where permission has been granted for 39 turbines, with a six-turbine extension.

Given the proven link between windfarms and bird kills, Mr Allan’s attitude smacks of complacency or hypocrisy or a combination of both given the attitude of the SNP Government to on-shore and off-shore windfarms.

The Oxford University conservationist Clive Hambler has summarised data from Sweden, Germany, Spain, Denmark and the USA that indicates 100 birds are killed per turbine per year on average.

That is a fierce toll over the 25-year lifespan of the average windfarm.

Given that the Eisgin area holds probably Europe’s densest concentration of golden and white-tailed sea eagles, those populations will suffer drastically.

Even with sole reference to the six-turbine extension recently granted, SNH estimates there will be 20 golden eagle casualties and 12 sea eagle deaths over the lifetime of that section of the windfarm alone. This is probably an underestimate.

Tourists do not want to see the battered corpses of raptors and the skeletal remains of other birds at the foot of giant turbines.

Possibly your article could more accurately have been headed: ‘Huge potential for wildlife destruction’. – Yours, etc.,

Danny Rafferty

South Uist