Wind energy boom and golden eagles collide in Western states

By Matthew Brown
The Associated Press in Oregon Public Broadcasting
August 17, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The rush to build wind farms to combat climate change is colliding with preservation of one of the U.S. West’s most spectacular predators — the golden eagle — as the species teeters on the edge of decline. Ground zero in the conflict is Wyoming, a stronghold for golden eagles and a favored location for wind farms. As wind turbines proliferate, scientists say deaths from collisions could drive down golden eagle numbers considered stable at best. …Rising temperatures are projected to reduce golden eagle breeding ranges by more than 40% later this century, according to a National Audubon Society analysis. That leaves golden eagles doubly vulnerable… In April, a Florida-based power company pleaded guilty in federal court in Wyoming to criminal violations of wildlife protection laws after its wind turbines killed more than 100 golden eagles in eight states. …wind turbines nationwide more than doubled over the past decade, overlapping prime golden eagle territory in several states.

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