August 20, 2012
AWWI Convenes Symposium on Golden Eagles and Wind Energy at The Wildlife Society’s Annual Conference in Portland, OR
In partnership with The Wildlife Society’s Renewable Energy Working Group, AWWI will hold a half-day Symposium on “Mitigating Impacts of Wind Energy Development on Golden Eagles” at the 2012 Annual Conference of The Wildlife Society taking place in Portland, Ore. October 13-18. AWWI’s Symposium will discuss the latest findings on golden eagles and wind energy mitigation strategies in the context of the Eagle Conservation Guidance prepared by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Conserving eagles while advancing wind energy is a priority issue for AWWI. The raptor fatalities observed at the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area in California since the 1980s have generated concern regarding the impact of wind energy development on birds, including golden eagles which are protected under federal law. Modern wind energy projects appear to pose less risk to eagles. Nonetheless, there remains substantial concern about the status of golden eagles in North America and the role that wind energy development may play in the viability of the continental population.
“With this Symposium, the goal is to bring together the broad range of experts who are working on different aspects of the issue, including population status, eagle behavior, and avoidance, minimization, and compensation strategies,” said Taber Allison, AWWI Director of Research and Evaluation, who is organizing the Symposium with Dale Strickland, CEO of Western Ecosystems Technology, Inc. (WEST). “Each discipline illuminates the other, so it’s important to coordinate and collaborate in order to advance the most effective solutions. Experts from state and federal agencies, consulting and research firms, and academia will discuss:
- Eagle ecology and how factors such as nest sites, prey distribution, landscape features, or behavioral differences among life stages relate to potential risk to eagles from wind energy development
- Analysis of current impacts including eagle fatalities and habitat impacts (for example, nest disturbance)
- Evaluation of different avoidance, minimization and compensatory mitigation models to reduce/offset take of eagles
In addition to discussing this information in relation to the Eagle Conservation Guidance, the Symposium will present case studies of the application of the Guidance by individual companies.
A full description of AWWI’s Symposium including list of presenters and abstracts, and information about The Wildlife Society Annual Conference are available at http://wildlifesociety.org/.