Shetland is home and breeding ground to a wide range of rare and protected species. In addition, its unspoilt moorlands support a number of bird species. Sustainable Shetlands believes that destuction of habitat is just as bad for "common" species as it is for rare and protected species.
The RSPB announced on 24 April 09 that they were changing thier approach to windfarm planing applications, and were looking to make better use of area sensitivity maps. The maps for Scotland and Shetland can be seen here.
A study was published in February 2005 relating to Merlin and Red throated divers in the Viking wind site and buffer zone. It is worth noting the report refers to the site and buffer zone as being "slightly over 100 km2". The public version of this study can be seen here
More information from RSPB - www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdguide/name/r/redthroateddiver/index.asp
According to the RSPB there are 1255 breeding pairs in the UK, and Shetland is the UK stronghold for this bird. However a BBC report from September 2007 indicates that the Shetland population has dropped from 700 to 407 pairs.
Shetland name Peerie Whaap)
More information from RSPB - www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdguide/name/w/whimbrel/index.asp
90% of UK breeding Whimbrel are in Shetland, and according to the RSPB there are only 530 pairs in the UK.
More information from RSPB at www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdguide/name/g/goldenplover/index.asp.
UK population is about 1,330 pairs. This is the only regularly breeding bird of prey in Shetland. In recent years the Shetland breeding population has been less than 20 pairs. (Pennington et al 2004)
More information from RSPB at www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdguide/name/m/merlin/index.asp
Pennington, M., Osborn, K., Harvey, P., Riddington, R., Okill, D., Ellis, P., Heubeck, M., 2004. Birds of Shetland. Christopher Helm.
Sustainable Shetland is a campaign group formed in March 2008 in response to a proposal for a large scale wind farm in Shetland. We believe these large industrial projects are damaging to our environment. We believe that the Viking Energy wind farm endangers Shetland Community Funds, project costs are underestimated and project income grossly over stated.
We believe that the Viking Energy proposals are everything we do not need in Shetland: they are financially risky and potentially damaging to the Shetland environment.
We want to see sustainable renewable energy projects in Shetland which are fit for scale and fit for purpose, and provide real community benefit.
We are not an "anti windfarm" campaign. However we are strongly opposed to the Viking wind farm proposal. Other projects will be considered on their own merits.