Golden Eagles Face Extinction – Are Wind Farms the Main Cause?

by on January 7, 2012 · 8 comments

in Environment, San Diego

Eagle killed by wind turbine.


“Wind farms are the main cause. The issuing of license to kill will accelerate the decline toward extinction.”

Save the Eagles International

 By Miriam RafteryEast County Magazine Special Report / January 6, 2012

San Diego County’s 48 pairs of nesting golden eagles and even rarer bald eagles could be in peril if proposed industrial-scale wind farms are built. In a press release issued today, Save the Eagles International (STEI) issued a dire warning, providing detailed documentation proving that golden eagles and their nests are disappearing rapidly near wind farms across the U.S.

The group also blasted the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for changing its mission from protecting wildlife to “catering to the interests of an industry” that is a “ruinous one to boot.”

Although the studies focused on golden eagles, if no major action is taken, wind turbines’ razor-sharp blades will also threaten the existence of other species, STEI predicts.

The international group “solemnly warns the Western States that the biologically-blind policies will cause the extinction of the Golden Eagle, the California Condor, and other species of raptors.” Also at risk are species in Eastern and Central states, such as the Whooping Crane.

For the remainder of this excellent Special Report, please go here.




{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

JEC January 7, 2012 at 4:09 pm

I live on Tecolote Canyon. We have golden eagles. It appears Eagles have adapted to an urban environment; quasi-urban anyway. Wind turbines though are here to stay. The new turbines turn much slower, as little as 5 revolutions a minute. Eagles, with their marvelous eyesight and incredible speed should easily avoid. Perhaps other conditions have reduced their eyesight or slowed their speed? Air pollution? Logically to lose birds since 2005 invites analysis of what’s changed since 2005; Altamont has been their for 3 decades – has have the farms near Palm Springs and in West Texas.


Rose Anderson January 8, 2012 at 6:50 am

This is not green, at all. If these companies were interested in saving the planet and not just in profits, they’d stop and re-design the farms instead of trying to get exceptions to federal regulations. How is that any different from what coal companies are doing? I wrote an article about this situation, and of course the bird conservation community is supportive, but I’m tired of the same old arguments that it’s OK to kill birds with wind farms because so many already die from other causes. That’s predictably what you get back when you talk about this issue.

I don’t believe that wind power in its current form is here to stay, because it’s just too dangerous to wildlife. A lot of people are in denial, and they’re not thinking this all the way through. If dead birds aren’t enough, we have to make them understand what happens to the eco-system after the birds are gone.

Here’s the article I wrote


cahlo January 8, 2012 at 7:47 am

start drilling!


elaine marie January 8, 2012 at 1:59 pm

What a shame.


Mark April 16, 2012 at 7:24 pm

More birds are killed by cars or by flying into buildings than are killed by wind turbines.


Rose April 17, 2012 at 3:34 am

So since we’re already killing so many birds it’s OK to kill more? It’s a simple matter of proportion–there are more cars and buildings than there are wind turbines. What do you think will happen when we build more turbines? What will happen to the disease-carrying rodent and insect populations that birds and bats keep in check? Enjoy your Lymes disease and West Nile virus.


Christopher Moore April 17, 2012 at 10:01 am

Every means of generating energy has environmental consequences, even “green” energy.

Covering huge tracts of land with solar panels will have environmental consequences as well.

While we need cleaner sources of energy, we shouldn’t pretend that even these are impact-free.

There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.


Rose April 17, 2012 at 10:07 am

Huge tracts of land cleared for solar panels, and tower/mirror setups that can burn birds right out of the sky. What do these have in common with huge turbine farms? Centralizing power generation so corporations can make maximum profits. Rooftop and community solar is less of a threat, and is gaining momentum.


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