Local wind farm fatalities may affect whole bird populations | Anthropocene

GarryRogers Nature Conservation

GR: The mortality rate suggests that wind turbines will result in loss of almost all the western U. S. Golden Eagles.

“Hundreds of thousands of birds are killed each year by wind turbines worldwide. But few studies have looked at the demographic consequences of this local-scale mortality for a species as a whole.

“Now, researchers have gathered evidence that deaths of golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) at a single wind farm in northern California may have effects on the entire western US population of this species.

“The researchers studied 67 golden eagles killed by wind turbines at the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area, one of the largest and oldest wind farms in the country.

“Eagles tend to use that habitat around the turbines. It’s windy there, so they can save energy and soar, and their preferred prey, California ground squirrels, is abundant there,” says J. Andrew DeWoody, professor of genetics in…

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