Since the diet of Bald Eagles is primarily fish, when wind turbine developers begin constructing wind farms on our coasts or near lakes or rivers, the mortality rate for Bald Eagles will skyrocket. We cannot let this happen.
During construction of a wind turbine, roads often have to be widened or built from scratch; mountain tops are sometimes blasted away to create a level area of at least 3 acres, so that the platform can be stable enough to support the enormous weight of each turbine assembly.
“Wind turbines may now be among the fastest-growing human-caused threats to our nation’s birds.
Attempts to manage the wind industry with voluntary as opposed to mandatory permitting guidelines are clearly not working. Wind developers are siting turbines in areas of vital importance to birds and other wildlife, and this new data shows that the current voluntary system needs radical improvement”, said Dr. Michael Hutchins, National Coordinator of American Bird Conservancy’s Bird Smart Wind Energy Campaign.
The American Eagle Foundation joins American Bird Conservancy in supporting Bird Smart wind energy development, which involves careful risk assessment leading to appropriate siting; independent, standardized post-construction monitoring of bird fatalities; mitigation using effective, tested methods; and compensation if federally protected birds and bats are killed incidentally.
The number of birds taken annually by wind energy facilities (not including associated power lines and towers) has been estimated to exceed 1.4 million birds by 2030 if there is no change in U.S. policy toward wind energy development.
“Alternative energy is not ‘green’ if it is killing hundreds or thousands or millions of birds annually,” said Dr. Hutchins. “Our wildlife should not be collateral damage in our effort to combat climate change, nor does it have to be. Improved regulation and science leading to proper siting, effective mitigation, and compensation would go a long way to address this conflict.”