BirdLife International, Nature Kenya, Kenya Bird of Prey Trust and The Peregrine Fund have collectively expressed concern over a proposal to develop the Kipeto Wind Energy Project, in Kajiado County, Kenya. This is due to the fact that the proposed wind farm will be in close proximity to the nesting sites of two species of Critically Endangered vultures and also close to an important flyway for a vast numbers of migratory birds.
Just 14 km from Kwenia cliffs – the third largest nesting site of Rüppell’s Vultures in Kenya – and 10 km from the White-backed Vulture colony, these wind turbine blades could severely impact these species, both on the edge of extinction. Recent surveys commissioned by the project developers show that collectively these two colonies regularly hold more than 80 pairs of nesting vultures and that both species frequently fly over and occasionally forage at the proposed wind farm site and would be at risk of colliding with wind turbines.
The area has already seen the extinction of Endangered Egyptian Vultures, yet it still holds an impressive number of cliff-dwelling large falcons and Verreaux’s Eagles. The project location lies along the north-south ridge of the Rift Valley Escarpment, which is a prime location for migratory species including globally endangered Steppe Eagles as well as Amur Falcons, Eurasian Hobbys, Lesser Kestrels and White Storks. The site is unique for its density of raptors, and deserving of special protection status, particularly in recognition that African Vultures are vitally important “cleaners of the environment” that help prevent the spread of diseases.