Wed, 24 Apr 2013 13:28:02 GMT — Dr. Bart Ballard, research scientist with Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute at Texas A&M Kingsville, enters the University's state of the art avian radar detection system. Dr. Bart Ballard, "There's a kind of a line of Mississippi Kites migrating north across the Laguna Salada here going north." For the past several years, Dr. Ballard and his graduate students have been operating a pair of these sophisticated mobile radar units along the lower Texas coast during the spring and fall migrations, and the numbers of birds they are identifying are astonishing. Dr. Bart Ballard, "Hundreds of millions easily, hundreds of millions." Dr. Ballard's groundbreaking research pinpoints Deep South Texas as the primary migration route in North America, and his findings reveal the critical importance of protecting the states undeveloped coastal habitat. Dr. Ballard, "These birds are passing thru here and going to most of North America to breed, so we are a part of the link in the annual cycle of all these birds|They have evolved for thousands of years to make this flight, and development now happens so fast. It happens must faster than a bird to evolve." Among the pressing concerns are the unregulated and massive wind turbine industrial complexes being built along this vital migratory corridor. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service estimated that approximately 440,000 birds were killed by poorly sited turbines in 2009, and that figure is undoubtedly much higher now with the proliferation of deadly turbines." Dr. Ballard, "Unfortunately, there are no siting requirements for wind turbines and there hasn't been any put anywhere like the Texas coast before, and yeah it is a concern to a lot of us." With your Nature Report I'm Richard Moore
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