Griffon vultures have been the main victims at Tarifa, although kestrels, an Egyptian vulture and eagle owls have also been killed, according to Spanish bird society,SEO. Initial concern was for the thousands of migratory raptors passing by or stopping off at Tarifa on their twice annual flights, although the larger number of victims would seem to belong to the local population of griffon vultures. SEO says, though, that until the winter migration begins it will be impossible to tell what percentage of migratory raptors flying in from northern Europe en route to Africa collide with the turbines. The birds stop over to feed and the heavier ones depend on thermals -- like gliders -- to gain altitude before crossing the Straits of Gibraltar. Thermals are not created over the sea and drowned birds are regularly caught in fishermen's nets having failed to make the 14 kilometre trip. SEO refuses to release current figures of bird collisions since it is conditioned by the terms of its impact study contract with the Andalusian Environmental Agency.
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