Can conserving the environment lead to offsetting existing balance? Apparently, it can. Windfarms in Australia have become responsible for eagles dropping dead. What is more alarming, is it is considered a war casualty, by compensating through offsets.
Wildlife biologist Nick Mooney, brought to light, the deaths of endangered species, wedge-tail eagles, meeting their fate in crushing turbines at Tasmania’s largest windfarm. More than 11 of these eagles have been reportedly killed and the wildlife experts says, a lot of deaths have not been accounted for.
Under Commonwealth legislation, windfarm companies pay “offsets” in the form of compensation, funding research or safeguarding nest sites, when an endangered bird is killed
Only 350 breeding pairs of these birds are estimated to be living, with 29 already being killed by powerlines between 2017-18. The carnage needs to be dealt with better devices, says Nick Mooney. The system of deciding offsets itself is faulty according to him, where deaths are forecasted and offsets then mobilized. These interim arrangements are doing nothing for the decreasing number and the counter effort too will not bring up the number to the original lost, he worries, “We’re building all these windfarms without knowing the damage we’re doing.”
More research needs to go into the impact of these deaths and thorough surveillance of the area is in order to find more carcasses of the birds. The Cattle Hill Windfarm, an under-construction farm is trying to achieve semblance of balance and solution aided by technology. It will install monitoring towers to identify when an eagle is in the flight path of a turbine and shut it down. So, sites that have been established to harness energy for sustenance and conservation do not become killing fields for the birds.