Wind farm cuts eagle population

June 23, 2006

Britain's Royal Society for the Protection of Birds says a wind farm off the Norwegian coast has reduced the population of Europe's largest eagle.

The society says only one white-tailed eagle is expected to fledge from the site on the bird's former stronghold of Smøla islands.

The RSPB says turbine blades have killed nine of the birds in the last 10 months including all three chicks that fledged last year. Norway is regarded as the most important place for white-tailed eagles.

In 1989, Smøla was designated as having one of the highest densities of white-tailed eagles in the world. But the society now fears the 100 or so more wind farms planned in the rest of Norway could have a similar impact.

"Smøla is demonstrating the damage that can be caused by a wind farm in the wrong location. The RSPB strongly supports renewable energies including wind, but the deaths of adult birds and the three young born last year make the prospects for white-tailed eagles on the island look bleak," said Dr. Rowan Langston, senior research biologist at the RSPB.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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