WASHINGTON – A US energy company has been ordered to pay one million dollars for the death of 14 golden eagles that were killed at two of its windmill parks. The fine will go to wildlife and wetlands conservation bodies.
BBC reports that Duke Energy Renewables pleaded guilty to the deaths of the eagles, which are protected in the United States under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The 14 birds of prey were killed over a period of 3 years at the company’s Wyoming site.
The eagles often fail to look up as they search for prey until it is too late, slamming into the turbines. They can also be sucked in by the tornado-like vortex created by the fast-moving blades.
According to one study by federal biologists in 2013, wind energy facilities in 10 US states have killed at least 67 golden and bald eagles since 2008.
Duke Energy is reportedly the largest electric power holding company in the United States, serving more than seven million customers. The company has an annual revenue exceeding 50 billion dollars.
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