With the death of two more federally protected golden eagles at the Pine Tree wind farm in the Tehachapi Mountains (after six were found dead earlier), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has stepped in to determine what’s causing the avian fatalities.
It’s been concluded that whirling blades on the 90 turbines that populate the 8,000-acre farm near Mojave felled the first six eagles. But there is still no cause of death for the two most recent dead eagles found on the site.
Environmentalists argue that turbine-powered wind farms in the wilderness are simply giant deathtraps for some species. The abnormally high bird mortality rate at Pine Tree (the highest in California) raises issues of wind farm location, and putting much more emphasis on migration research before erecting more farms.
So far, Pine Tree is not being held at fault for the eagle fatalities.