Wind farm causes eagle deaths

Wind farm causes eagle deathsFour have been found dead. Almost 30 are missing on isolated islands off the Norwegian coast.

The dead white-tailed eagles were found between August and December 2005. Two had been sliced in half, apparently by a turbine blade. Post mortems blamed multiple trauma for the birds' deaths, caused by a heavy blow. Much of the wind park is remote and rarely visited and it is possible that other deaths have gone undetected.

The White-tailed Eagle 'Haliaeetus albicilla' is found in significant numbers on Smola, a set of islands about ten kilometres off the north-west Norwegian coast. The island is listed by BirdLife as an Important Bird Area (IBA) because it holds one of the highest breeding densities of the species in the world.

The 68-turbine Smola wind farm was built between 2001 and 2005. The Norwegian government ignored advice based on an environmental assessment, warning against the development because of the danger it posed to White-tailed Eagles.

BirdLife supports the generation of wind and other renewable energies to help tackle climate change but these interim research results have underlined the dangers of wind parks placed near sites that birds instinctively seek.

Source : BirdLife International.