Golden eagles face existential threat from wind turbine farms

The proliferation of wind turbines is causing mass deaths of golden eagles, which collide with the deadly spinning blades that span the countryside. 

Golden eagles face existential threat from wind turbine farms
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The golden eagle faces an existential threat with the mass construction of wind turbines in its primary habitat. Wyoming, home of golden eagles, one of America’s national symbols, is a favored location for wind farms. 

As reported by Reuters, the proliferation of wind turbines is causing mass deaths of golden eagles, which collide with the deadly spinning blades that span the countryside. 

“Yet climate change looms as a potentially greater threat: Rising temperatures are projected to reduce golden eagle breeding ranges by more than 40% later this century, according to a National Audubon Society analysis,” the publication reported. “That leaves golden eagles doubly vulnerable — to the shifting climate and to the wind energy promoted as a solution to that warming world.” 

“We have some of the best golden eagle populations in Wyoming, but it doesn’t mean the population is not at risk,” said Bryan Bedrosian, conservation director at the Teton Raptor Center in Wilson, Wyoming to Reuters. “As we increase wind development across the U.S., that risk is increasing.” 

Despite the deaths of the migratory birds, Bedrosian — and others — continue to push for the construction of wind turbines in their bid to curb climate change, proposing that wind turbine companies build in areas less frequented by the birds. 

“It’s robbing Peter to pay Paul, but it’s a start and I think it’s the way to go,” Preston said. “It’s a societal question: Is there room for them and us? It’s not just golden eagles. They are kind of a window into the bigger picture.” 

Rebel News previously reported that wind energy company NextEra Energy was fined $8 million for killing the migratory birds. Since the introduction of wind turbines, an estimated 681,000 bird deaths occur every year in the United States alone. The company ran afoul of the law after its wind turbines killed more than 100 golden eagles in eight states–and those were just the ones that were counted. 

The company suggested that the deaths of the birds are unavoidable, arguing that the construction of sprawling wind farms should not be criminalized. 

“Utilities Duke Energy and PacifiCorp previously pleaded guilty to similar charges in Wyoming. North Carolina-based Duke Energy was sentenced in 2013 to $1 million in fines and restitution and five years probation following deaths of 14 golden eagles and 149 other birds at two of the company’s wind projects,” Reuters reported. “A year later, Oregon-based PacifiCorp received $2.5 million in fines and five years probation after 38 golden eagle carcasses and 336 other protected birds were discovered at two of its sites.”

Golden eagles, like other migratory birds, already face existential threats from being routinely shot, poisoned by lead, electrocuted on powerlines, and hit by vehicles when flying at low altitudes. 

Reuters reports that golden eagles have not seen much conservation success in comparison to the bald eagle, whose numbers quadrupled since 2009. At present, there are only an estimated 40,000 golden eagles living in the wild, which have a larger habitat than the bald eagle, and are more likely to run into trouble with human contact.

Despite the deaths of the golden eagle and other migratory birds, the Biden administration continues to push for the growth of wind turbines and other green energy initiatives detrimental to the environment and wildlife. 

As for the wind energy companies, what's a few million dollars in fines when you’re making a few billion dollars in revenue?

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