Date: August 27, 2015
Source: University of Waterloo
Summary: Collisions with wind turbines kill about 100 golden eagles a year in some locations, but a new study that maps both potential wind-power sites and nesting patterns of the birds reveals sweet spots, where potential for wind power is greatest with a lower threat to nesting eagles.
Brad Fedy, a professor in the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo, and Jason Tack, a PhD student at Colorado State University, took nesting data from a variety of areas across Wyoming, and created models using a suite of environmental variables and referenced them against areas with potential for wind development. The results of their research appear in PLOS ONE.
Increased mortalities threaten the future of long-lived species and, when a large bird like a golden eagle is killed by wind development, the turbine stops, causes temporary slowdowns and can result in fines to operators.