Gilead Power, the Peterborough, Ontario wind power company that recently applied for a government permit to “kill, harm and harass” two endangered species, has plans to reduce the impact of construction on the Whip-poor-will and Blanding’s Turtles.
According to CBC reporter Mike Crawley, “In an email statement, the company (Gilead Power) says it will do its best to mitigate the harm to the birds and turtles. It says it will create new nesting habitat and build the project in winter, when wildlife aren’t around.”
One immediately apparent problem for Gilead is that turtles don’t fly south for the winter.
According to TurtleSHELLtortue, “Canadian turtles hibernate for over five months every winter. Some, like the Painted and Snapping Turtles, hibernate on the bottom of quiet backwaters, nestled up to sunken logs or under stream or lakeside banks. Others, such as the Spotted Turtle, hibernate in the fens or flooded fields in which they live during the summertime. They must choose sites where the water does not freeze right to the bottom or become too low in dissolved oxygen.”
Gilead has is seeking permission from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources to install 9 133-metre tall industrial turbines on Crown land at Ostrander Point on the South Shore of Lake Ontario. The area is also home to an Important Bird Area, a National Wildlife Reserve and an International Monarch Butterfly reserve.
If Gilead Power seems to be so mistaken about the endangered Blanding’s Turtle, how many other errors might it make?