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Wind turbines etc kill raptors

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:08 pm    Post subject: Wind turbines etc kill raptors  Reply with quote


Photo credit to daily mail
I have emailed Arizona for a report on eagle nests and fires.  Babies have fledged.

Wind turbines are killing eagles!

I AM NOT an environmental NUTCASE.  However, to slaughter these magnificent birds is pointless.  mankind is NOT gaining!  We are LOSING! Exclamation
I used a search engine to find information on this.

Wind energy is VERY VERY expensive to the consumer!
The area where a friend of mine lives switched over to wind and his electricity bill skyrocketed beyond his ability to pay.
The birds are losing - and mankind is also losing!

Golden eagles and wind turbines
The Golden Eagle is one of the best known birds of prey in the Northern Hemisphere.

Many deaths among golden eagles are caused by wind turbines.
The California Condor is also said to be at risk from the giant blades.

Ed Clark at Wildlife Center of Virginia mentioned turbines killing goldens June 7, 2011, and I decided to report it because few are aware of this.
Ed said -  The wind turbines are a huge problem, already killing hundreds of golden eagles every year. The placement of the turbines is the biggest issue.
There are places where they can be located that are not prime migration routes.
The owners of the turbines want them on the top of mountain ridges because that is where the best breezes are found, but that's also where the eagles fly
.  end Ed

Wind farms taking toll on golden eagles

Nationwide, about 440,000 birds are said to be killed at wind farms each year, as well as thousands of bats.
With the government pushing for more wind energy farms, that statistic is likely to rise.
Golden eagles have been declining, partly because of run-ins with whirling wind turbine blades.

Wind power turbines have been blamed for the deaths of over 60 eagles per year in California's Bay Area.
The turbines in the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area are situated in a region of rolling grasslands and canyons
containing one of the highest densities of nesting golden eagles in the United States.
570 to 835 raptors are killed each year by wind turbines inAltamont Pass California.
The big birds typically soar at about the same height as the turbine blades - roughly 300 to 400 feet.

Biologist Doug Bell said it would take 167 pairs of local nesting golden eagles to produce enough young to compensate for their
mortality rate related to wind energy production.  We only have 60 pairs.

Green killer

June,  2011
Scores of golden eagles killed by wind turbines in Altamont Pass
California's attempts to switch to green energy have put the survival of the golden eagles at risk after colliding with the blades of about 5,000 wind turbines.
The 200 foot high turbines, which have been operating since the 1980s, lie in the heart of the grassy canyons that are home to one of the highest densities of nesting golden eagles in the USA.

A Golden eagle was killed by wind turbines in Washington state in May 2009.  The 10-pound bird had a broken wing and two broken legs.
As more states set up wind turbines, more birds will be killed by them.

Wind project operators are required to document and report bird kills to state authorities.
Federal and state wildlife officials have created new guidelines to reduce the effects on birds and wildlife from wind energy development.
They call for extensive surveys of proposed wind farms before they are permitted and a recommended 2-mile wide buffer around the nests of raptor species, including golden and bald eagles.

Wind power turbines in Altamont Pass threaten protected birds
June  2011  -  Scores of protected golden eagles have been dying each year after colliding with the blades of about 5,000 wind turbine
along the ridgelines of the Bay Area’s Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area, raising troubling questions about the state’s push for alternative power sources.

The death count, averaging 67 a year for three decades, worries field biologists because the turbines,
which have been providing thousands of homes with emissions-free electricity since the 1980s,
lie within a region of rolling grasslands and riparian canyons containing one of the highest densities of nesting golden eagles in the United States.

Photo credit to daily mail
Little note here - wind energy IS NOT CHEAP!

Sources for information from the following

Information on golden eagles can be found here

Richmond eagle nest

Epitaph for an Eagle

EAGLES killed by man and man's stuff

Used with permission from Manuel Sosa

I also asked permission June 7 to use this fantastic photo

Last edited by CJ on Wed Jul 29, 2015 6:53 am; edited 3 times in total
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bald Eagle Population Growing in Arizona
June 2011   Nest-watch program aims to keep birds safe
The number of eagles over the past 30 years has grown.
We are seeing a record number of bald eagles than ever before here in Arizona.
Nest-watchers are responsible for protecting the eagles in Arizona while they are nesting and raising their young.
There are breeding areas on the Verde River.

I am looking for information on eagle nests and the Arizona fires.
Eaglets are fledging now but are they strong enuf to fly out of the fires?

Arizona Bald Eagle Management Program
Seasonal Breeding Area Closures

When I found this, I thot the eaglets in nests should be able to fly free of the fires.

During certain breeding stages (incubation, young nestlings, and nestlings near fledging), human activity near a bald eagle nest can cause nest abandonment and/or failure.
Establishing breeding area closures reduces losses by managing human activities near nest sites. Closure boundaries and specific limitations vary based on their effectiveness and enforceability.
Some closures restrict all entry into the breeding area, others only around certain nests, and several only certain types of activities.  


Alamo Lake - A portion of upper Alamo Lake may be closed to boats from Jan. 1 to June 30. Contact the Arizona Game and Fish Department, Region IV, Yuma, (928) 342-0091.

Salt River from Horseshoe Bend to Redmond Flat allows boats to float through, but no landing or stopping in the river is permitted from Dec. 1 to June 30. Contact Tonto National Forest, Globe Ranger District, (928) 402-6200.

Lake Pleasant  - No vehicle or foot entry is allowed into the Lower Agua Fria Arm from Dec. 15 to June 15. Contact Maricopa County Parks and Recreation, (928) 501-1710.

Verde River below Sycamore Canyon Wilderness is closed to foot and vehicle traffic from Dec. 1 to June 15. Boating through is allowed.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eagles and wind farms   NBC TV special

Millions of birds killed by power lines
Millions of flamingos, storks, pelicans and other migratory birds are being killed across the world when they fly into power lines.
Wildfires caused by birds hitting power lines, then falling to the ground in flames.
Collision and electrocution are among the most important human-related causes for bird mortality along with hunting.

ARIZONA fires and eagle nests
Arizona fish and game
June 9, 2011  Arizona

my email to them
Have the fledglings been able to fly AWAY from the fire areas?
Please give me information on eagles, raptors and fires.
Thousands watching live eaglecam want to know!

Their reply
We don’t know yet. We have 2 breeding areas in the line of the fire, and it looks like (from satellite photos) both may have escaped being burned.
We assume the adults at the nests are o.k., but we are unsure about the nestlings.
We have nestlings in one nest that were fledging age (12 weeks) so they could fly away if they needed to, but the nestlings in the other nest were much younger and incapable of flight.

Fire crews did an early back burn around the nest stand with the younger nestlings to stop the fire from crowning , and it appears to have worked.
But we won’t know if they survived the smoke and the adults inability to bring food to the nest (because of the helicopters grabbing water from the lakes they inhabit).
We won’t know for sure until after the flames are extinguished.

James T. Driscoll      JDriscoll@azgfd.gov
Raptor Management Coordinator
Office: 623-236-7581
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

       Orchard pesticides harm eagles

June  13, 2011     Ed Clark, WCV
The orchard industry is one of the most chemically intense forms of agriculture.
Not only do they apply chemicals to kill bugs that eat the crops, they use fungicides to protect the trees,
and growth regulators so the apples are all the same size, and other things to prevent spots on the skin of the fruit (which don't harm the fruit,
but make it unmarketable, since people won't buy spotted fruit, even though it's fine).

These chemicals can have a direct effect, or an indirect effect. Deformities, immune deficiencies, and direct poisoning are among them.
We are a chemically dependant society. We use a whole lot more than we need.
The good news is that there is on-going research to find less toxic ways to control pests.

Arizona Nature Conservancy Responds to the Wallow Fire

June  17, 2011   The Nature Conservancy’s Southern Rockies Wildland Fire Module  is on the front lines of the Wallow Fire,
working hard to protect property and land in eastern Arizona. Their first shift on the ground was a grueling 24 hours in searing Arizona heat.

As soon as they cleared the lines, all they wanted was to find a place to sleep for a couple hours.
Then, it was back to the front lines with hundreds of other crew members to face the fury of the fire.

This unique team was created by the Conservancy’s Colorado Chapter in April 2008 to help restore Colorado’s forests with safe, scientific burns.
The team is also trained to help federal agencies on the front lines during wildland fires.
Additionally, the Conservancy fire team provides opportunities to partner with other agencies and build credibility in forest management.
Every year, team members attend a two-week training for national certification.

There are seven members. They are a mix of backgrounds, from fire and biology scientists to fire practitioners.
Their facility is located in Loveland, Colorado, about an hour north of Denver.
The team gets to their assignments in a small engine, a carrier or an airplane.
They have battled wildfires in Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, California, Alaska and now Arizona. They’ll be in Arizona for two weeks.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

         Lead poisoning from bullets, etc

January  2012   Many eagles arrive at vets yearly because of lead poisoning.  Many of them die from it.
They ingesting lead shotgun pellets or bullet fragments which are highly toxic to raptors.
Eagles are other scavengers ingest the fragments while eating animals that have been shot but not recovered by hunters, or by feeding on the entrails of game animals, like deer, which have been harvested and field dressed.  Just ONE pellet that lodges in the digestive tract can be fatal.

If you hunt, make every effort to recover your prey. If you are shooting nuisance animals, dispose of them properly. If you are field dressing game, be sure to take an extra few minutes to bury or cover the discarded entrails.
Even fishing equipment can poison a bird.

Hunters urged to help curb Lead Poisoning of wildlife
January 2012 - article by professioanls

      With hunting season well underway, officials at The Wildlife Center of Virginia are urging hunters to take steps to curb lead poisoning of Virginia wildlife.  
The Center’s effort comes just days after the death of a Bald Eagle – an adult female – admitted to the Center with high lead levels.

      Each year the Center treats about 2,500 wildlife patients from all across Virginia, including Bald Eagles, and an alarming number of eagles admitted for care display signs of lead poisoning.  Thus far in 2011, for example, the Center has admitted 29 Bald Eagles – four of these showed signs of lead toxicity, and another 14 had measurable levels of lead.  As little as 1 part per million of lead in an eagle’s blood is usually lethal.  In spite of intensive treatments to purge lead from the systems of the poisoned eagles, many die from this lethal contaminant.

      Routine radiographs show that many of these eagles are exposed to the highly toxic metal by ingesting lead shotgun pellets or bullet fragments.  The eagles ingest these fragments while scavenging animals that have been shot but not recovered by hunters, or by feeding on the entrails of game animals, like deer, which have been harvested and “field dressed.”

      Field dressing is the practice of removing the internal organs from animals harvested for human consumption, in order to preserve the quality of the meat.  Typically, these entrails are simply left on the ground.  Even the smallest bit of lead from bullets or shot left in these internal organs can quickly disable or kill a bird like a Bald Eagle when it feeds on these remains.  For this reason, the Wildlife Center is urging hunters to either switch to bullets and shot which do not contain lead, or to bury or cover the animals or animal parts left in the field.

      According to Dr. Dave McRuer, Director of Veterinary Services at the Wildlife Center, the eagle that died this week came from Caroline County.  
It had been seen on the ground, unable to fly.  The bird was eventually captured and brought to the Wildlife Center on Sunday, November 13.  
Upon admission, the bird displayed the classic indications of lead toxicity – the bird was lethargic, unable to stand, experiencing tremors, and had poor muscle control.
Blood tests conducted at the Center indicated levels of lead in the bird’s blood that were “off the charts” – beyond what can be tested on the Center’s lab equipment.
While chelation therapy was started immediately, the bird died on Monday, November 14.  
“This appears to have been a classic case of poisoning as a result of the ingestion of lead shot,” McRuer concluded.

      The eagle was wearing a metal leg band which had been placed on the bird in 2006, in Cecil County, Maryland.  Banding records maintained at the federal government’s National Bird Banding Laboratory indicated that the female eagle hatched in 2004.  “At seven and a half years of age,” McRuer noted, “this adult eagle was in the prime of her breeding life.  Unfortunately, as a result of this preventable death, she will never again have the chance to contribute to the recovery of her species.”  McRuer went on to explain that the bird appeared to have been in perfect condition, other than the lead poisoning.

     According to Ed Clark, President of the Wildlife Center, for decades the ingestion of lead shot resulted in deaths of staggering numbers of ducks, geese and swans. “Prior to a nationwide ban on the use of lead shot for waterfowl hunting, an estimated four million ducks and geese died annually as a result of  swallowing lead pellets that had been fired over wetland areas by waterfowl hunters.  The birds would find the pellets as they sifted through bottom sediments looking for food.  A single pellet that lodges in the digestive tract of a bird can be fatal,” Clark stated.  
      In an effort to curb these losses, a prohibition on the use of lead shot for waterfowl hunting was imposed in 1991 by the federal government.  The use of steel and other lead-free materials for the manufacture of shot has dramatically reduced the amount of lead in wetland habitats.

      Clark drew a sharp contrast between the waterfowl deaths and those of the eagles. “The eagles are not randomly picking up loose pellets from their environment, as did waterfowl.  The eagles are getting the lead by eating other animals, or parts of other animals — ones that have been shot.”  Often when hunters shoot upland game, such as doves, rabbits or squirrels, the downed animals are very difficult to find.  State law requires hunters to make a good faith effort to recover any game animal that has been killed or wounded in the course of legal hunting.  “Unfortunately, many of these animals are never found.  They’re simply left where they fall, creating an attractive but deadly meal for scavengers,” Clark stated.

      It is also routine for farmers and “varmint hunters” to shoot nuisance animals, such as groundhogs, and deliberately leave the dead bodies out for scavengers to eat.  However, these shot-filled bodies are toxic time-bombs. The tragedy of it all is that these poisoning deaths are almost totally avoidable, Clark noted.

      According to Clark – a gun collector, avid shooter, and lifelong hunter – there are now alternatives to the use of lead-based ammunition for hunting.  “Several companies are now manufacturing bullets made of solid copper.  They are ballistically identical to lead, and are every bit as effective.”  While Clark still uses lead bullets for target shooting, he has switched entirely to copper bullets for hunting.  “There is a lot of false information out there suggesting that copper bullets are not as effective as lead.  The bottom line is that, if you miss your quarry, or fail to bring it down with a single shot, it is not the bullet’s fault!”

      Clark points out that those hunters who refuse to give up their traditional lead projectiles can still help eliminate the risk posed by lead shot by simply burying or properly disposing of animal carcasses or entrails.  Covering the remains or discarded parts of shot animals with brush or sticks could largely eliminate access to these toxic morsels by avian scavengers, particularly birds like eagles and other raptors.  When eagles and other scavenging birds find and eat these carcasses, they swallow the bullets and lead pellets along with everything else.  Unfortunately, even tiny particles of lead can become lodged in the digestive tract;  digestive fluids leach the heavy metal into the blood stream and body tissues, affecting the nervous system and internal organs.  Affected animals may appear lethargic and weak and are unable to stand or fly, even though there may be no outward signs of injury.

      Even nestling eagles may face the risk of lead poisoning.  In late April, three  Bald Eagles were rescued from their nest at the Norfolk Botanical Garden and brought to the Wildlife Center after their mother was struck and killed by a plane at the Norfolk airport.  One of those six-week old eaglets tested positive for exposure to lead – likely from ingesting some food that contained a lead fragment brought to the nest by a parent.

      Anyone finding an injured eagle or other wild animal is urged to contact a Conservation Police Officer or the Wildlife Center immediately. Often, an animal’s chance of survival depends upon the speed with which it is presented for treatment.  This is especially true in poisoning cases.

       “Losing a Bald Eagle is a really sad event,” said Clark, “especially when the cause of the bird’s death is so preventable.  We can only hope that the tragic loss of these eagles will remind everyone that bullets and shotgun pellets can kill twice.

      “If you hunt, make every effort to recover your prey.  If you are shooting nuisance animals, dispose of them properly. If you are field dressing game, be sure to take an extra few minutes to bury or cover the discarded entrails.  The death of even a single Bald Eagle is just too high a price for human negligence or laziness,” Clark concluded.

      The Wildlife Center of Virginia is a non-profit teaching and research hospital for native wildlife, located in Waynesboro, Virginia.  The Center’s goal is to rehabilitate these wild animals and return them to the wild.  Since its founding in 1982, the Center has cared for more than 58,000 wild animals, representing 200 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.  The Center’s public education programs share insights gained through the care of injured and orphaned wild animals, in hopes of reducing human damage to wildlife.  The Center trains veterinary and conservation professionals from all over the world and is actively involved in comprehensive wildlife health studies and the surveillance of emerging diseases.

Shotgun shells, such as these target loads, can contain hundreds of tiny lead pellets. Even a single piece one of these tiny pieces of pure lead can be toxic enough to kill an eagle or other scavenging birds, like hawks and vultures. The use of lead shot for hunting waterfowl was banned in 1991, but remains legal for upland game, such as squirrels, rabbits, turkeys and doves.

These two hunting cartridges, in the popular 7mm Remington Magnum caliber, are nearly identical. Each is topped with a 160 grain bullet. However, the bullet on the left is has a lead core inside a copper jacket. The one on the right is solid copper. Both are effective hunting loads. Both bullets expand on impact. But, the bullet on the left will leave tiny shards of lead behind as it passes through the target, creating toxic time-bombs for scavenging wildlife.
The copper bullet is non-toxic to scavengers.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

California condor

There are about 400 California condors in the world.
California condors face risks from lead
A feather as large as a human arm drifts from the azure sky. On Arizona’s Vermilion Cliffs, where the Grand Canyon begins to carve its way into the Colorado plateau, is one of the reintroduction sites for the California condor. And trapping season is underway.

North America’s largest flying land bird, with a wingspan of more than nine feet, is also one of the most endangered species on Earth. The scavengers ingest ammunition fragments when they feed on remains left by hunters, leaving them at risk for lead poisoning. Chris Parish of the Peregrine Fund, a nonprofit based in Boise, Idaho, leads a project here that includes trapping the birds to test lead levels in their blood and detoxifying any with high levels.

Trapping is easy, he says, because the birds can’t resist the stillborn calf carcass lying at the back of a cage.

There are nearly 400 California condors in the world, with more than 200 at reintroduction sites in Arizona, California and Baja California. In 1987, the wild population dropped to just 22. All of the birds were caught for captive breeding, and 16 of them helped to bring the species back from the brink.

        ------------------------     EAGLES      -----------------------

December 29, an immature Bald Eagle was spotted down in a field in Fauquier County unable to fly.  A conservation police officer was dispatched to capture the bird and it was transported to Waynesboro Virginia Wildlife center.
Upon admission, Dr. Miranda found no fractures or wounds on the Bald Eagle, though the bird was thin.  An in-house lead test revealed that the eagle was positive for lead.  eagle died Jan. 1

Chesapeake Bald Eagle
December 31  a Bald Eagle reportedly “fell from the sky” near the intersection of Butts Station Road and Centerville Turnpike [not far from Stumpy Lake] in Chesapeake.  The eagle was rescued and taken to wildlife rehabilator Lisa Barlow for the evening.  On January 1, the bird was brought to the Center by volunteer transporter Lona Wilson and was the first patient admitted to the Center during 2012.

Dr. Miranda examined #12-0001 — a mature Bald Eagle — and found that the eagle was thin, weak, and hanging its head — classic symptoms of lead poisoning.  An in-house lead test revealed that the eagle was positive for lead – with a result of .267 ppm. Chelation therapy was started immediately.
January 3 update - the bird pooped a pellet - good!

WCV Crittercam

Feds propose allowing wind-farm developer to kill golden eagles]
The federal government is proposing to grant a first-of-its-kind permit that would allow the developer of a central Oregon wind-power project to legally kill golden eagles, a regulatory move being closely watched by conservationists.
The Interior Department’s Fish and Wildlife Service on Tuesday released a draft environmental assessment that would allow West Butte Wind Power LLC to kill as many as three protected golden eagles over five years if the company fulfills its conservation commitments.
It’s the first eagle “take permit” application to be received and acted on by U.S. Fish and Wildlife under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. (“Take” means to kill, harass or disturb the birds, their nests or their eggs.)

RE the MSNBC article -
This is not "permission" to kill eagles; it is forgiveness in advance for killing up to three in a five year period,
according to Ed Clark, Virginia Wildlife Center.

Minnesota DNR
A professor at the University of Minnesota is collaborating with The Raptor Center putting together a survey to send to hunters about alternatives to lead bullets.
In 2011 the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources did a study about lead fragmentation and it's distribution from the wound site.
The DNR found that depending on the type of bullet, lead fragments spread further from the wound site than antcipated.
In some cases as far as 11 inches from the wound. So, eating meat from those deer would also be harmful to humans.

Wyoming indians gets permit to kill bald eagles
March 14, 2012
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has taken the unusual step of issuing a permit allowing an American Indian tribe in Wyoming to kill two bald eagles for religious purposes.
The agency's decision comes after the Northern Arapaho Tribe filed a federal lawsuit last year contending the refusal to issue such permits violates tribal members' religious freedom. Although thousands of American Indians apply for eagle feathers and carcasses from a federal repository, permits allowing the killing of bald eagles are exceedingly rare, according to both tribal and legal experts on the matter.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 4:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Calif. wind farm may be granted permit to kill eagles in exchange for bird protections
Sept. 27, 2013
 A 3,500-acre wind farm in in northern California may become the first renewable energy project in the US to be issued a permit to kill eagles under a proposal by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The plan would allow the Shiloh IV Wind Project’s 50 wind turbines to kill up to five golden eagles over a five-year period in exchange for taking measures to protect large birds, including retrofitting power poles to avoid electrocutions. "The bottom line is a permit will help preserve eagles," said Scott Flaherty, the deputy assistant regional director of external affairs for the Fish and Wildlife Service. The report will now go through a 45-day public comment period.

HARBINGER  WARNINGS - Isaiah 9 prophecy
When GOD destroys USA, you cant say He didnt WARN us!

DAILY NEWS with prophetic analysis    


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eagle Deaths at Wind Turbines Widespread, Undercounted
October 2, 2013
Though California and Wyoming lead the nation in eagle deaths at wind turbine facilities, wind turbines are killing bald and golden eagles nationwide, and the death toll is mounting. That's according to Dr. Joel Pagel, a longtime raptor biologist now working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the lead author of a recent peer-reviewed paper on wind facility eagle mortalities.
Pagel said that additional confirmed mortalities have been coming in since the paper's completion.
Mortalities have been reported since publication for bald eagles in Idaho and North Dakota and golden eagles in Montana and Nevada.
The stringent standards the authors used to determine whether to include individual mortality reports in the paper mean that the numbers are almost certainly an undercount, Pagel told ReWire.

The paper, "Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle Mortalities At Wind Energy Facilities In The Contiguous United States," was published in September in the Journal of Raptor Research. In the paper, Pagel and his co-authors analyze 85 eagles killed at 32 wind facilities in 10 states between 1997 and June 2012, with nearly 80 percent of those fatalities taking place in the last five years.
Each one of the mortalities recorded is a violation of the federal Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, which could carry penalties of fines and jail time.

Pagel, a government raptor ecologist since 1983 who's also worked with the U.S. Forest Service, noted that the Journal or Raptor Research paper is far from being the final word on the extent of injuries eagles have suffered from wind turbine encounters.

"We relied on voluntary reports from turbine operators and other reports that were publicly available," Pagel said. "We excluded 17 possible mortalities because we just couldn't confirm them." In the absence of more systematic data collection, notes Pagel, he and his colleagues very likely compiled an incomplete tally of bald and golden eagle deaths due to wind turbine strikes. "I can't think of a factor that might contribute to our overcounting mortalities," Pagel told ReWire, "but there are plenty of reasons we have likely undercounted."

The undercount of bald eagle wind turbine mortalities in particular is perplexing, Pagel noted. "Bald eagles are ecologically very similar to white-tailed eagles in Europe, and there have been a lot of documented white-tailed eagle kills at wind turbines in places like Norway." One possibility noted in the Journal of Raptor Research paper: where bald eagle territories and wind developments overlap, tall farm crops can make recovery of carcasses unlikely. "If a bald eagle falls into a corn field, we might never find it," said Pagel.

California and Wyoming led the confirmed death toll with 27 and 31 confirmed mortalities, respectively. (The study omitted the notoriously high mortalities at California's Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area from consideration.) All of the Wyoming fatalities detailed in the study occurred since 2009, which is about when that state's fledgling wind infrastructure started taking off.

Wyoming's death toll is strikingly high compared to states with many more turbines, such as Texas (with one confirmed fatality) and Iowa (with three). Some of the discrepancy might well be due to sampling error: if Texas wind operators are letting eagle deaths go unrecorded, that one reported dead eagle might have plenty of company that's gone un-remarked upon.

But there's likely more than sampling error at work here. ReWire asked Pagel what might account for Wyoming's startling figures. "There are a lot of eagles in Wyoming," he replied. "Eagles visit Wyoming from as far away as British Columbia and Alaska. The Yellowstone Raptor Initiative has seen 100 migrating eagles in one day at Yellowstone National Park."

Pagel declined to identify to ReWire any of the wind facilities at which the documented eagle mortalities occurred, citing his restrictions as a federal employee from disclosing information which many wind companies claim is protected under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act. A cursory Google search, however, reveals that at least 10 of the Wyoming fatalities occurred at Duke Energy's Top Of The World wind farm after that facility began operations in 2010 near Casper. That would be about a third of all the state's documented mortalities.

Pagel noted that some of the injuries described were ghastly. "There was plenty of blunt force trauma in these reports," Pagel said. "Some of the birds were thrown long distances. Some of them had had portions of their bodies separated."

Given that eagles may move well away from the turbine base after having been injured by a turbine blade, it may be that under-counting such injuries and mortalities is inevitable. And eagles are far from the only birds injured by wind turbines, noted Pagel, who has worked extensively with peregrine falcons and other raptors. "We did not look at other raptors or other birds in this paper. We're just looking at two species here; bald eagles and golden eagles. We stuck solely to bald and golden eagles. That doesn't mean other birds aren't being injured. We just didn't examine those other species."
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wind turbines threaten birds
July 29, 2015
-  Wind turbines could be forcing native bird populations into decline in the Great Plains, raising new concerns about the long-term effects of renewable energy on wildlife.  Wind farms in North and South Dakota can influence the distribution of several species of grassland birds for years after construction, including species whose populations are in serious decline.  7 out of 9 bird species were displaced from areas in North and South Dakota after a wind facility was built.  

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