US electric company killed 232 eagles

This is a golden eagle video.

From Wildlife Extra:

US Electric company guilty of killing 232 eagles – Must pay $10.5 million

20/07/2009 13:46:24

Utility Giant to Pay Millions for Eagle Protection

July 2009. PacifiCorp, one of the largest electric utilities in the USA, pleaded guilty to unlawfully killing golden eagles and other migratory birds. The company was ordered to pay over $10.5 million for killing eagles and other protected birds.

PacifiCorp were charged with 34 counts of unlawfully taking golden eagles, hawks, and ravens in violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. PacifiCorp has killed 232 eagles in Wyoming from January 2007 to the present day. The company, which pleaded guilty to all 34 counts, has been sentenced to pay a $510,000 criminal fine and an additional $900,000 in restitution and will spend the next five years on probation. During this period, PacifiCorp has been ordered to spend $9.1 million to repair or replace its equipment to protect migratory birds from electrocution in Wyoming.

A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service investigation, which began in 2007, linked excessive eagle mortalities to PacifiCorp’s electrical distribution and transmission facilities in six Wyoming counties. The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Wyoming filed Federal charges against the company based on this probe. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act makes it illegal for anyone to kill a protected bird (including eagles and other raptors) by any means without first obtaining a permit.

Avian Protection Plan to be implemented

Until this past year, PacifiCorp had failed to use readily available measures to address bird electrocutions in Wyoming – measures that could have saved numerous eagles and other birds. Under the terms of its plea agreement, the company must implement an Avian Protection Plan for the State that will include retrofitting and modernizing its electrical distribution and transmission system to reduce eagle mortalities.

Restitution paid by the company will support research and projects to conserve golden eagles and other birds of prey in Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, and Montana. Conservation organizations slated to receive funding include the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Hawk Watch International, the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of Wyoming, the Native American Fish and Wildlife Society, and the Murie Audubon Society of Casper, Wyoming.

Electrocution of eagles or other large birds can occur when a bird perches on the cross arm of a power pole and completes an electrical circuit by touching two energized wires or an energized wire and a ground.

1,031 eagle electrocuted in Wyoming since 1991

Avian electrocution and collision problems are not new: the first documented collision of a bird with a telegraph line occurred in 1876, and the first reported eagle electrocution on a transmission line was in 1922. Problems persist in many parts of the United States, including Wyoming, where Service special agents documented at least 1,031 eagles killed by electrocution since 1991.

Towers, Turbines, Power Lines, and Buildings – Steps Being Taken by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to Avoid or Minimize Take of Migratory Birds at These Structures: here.

As we await a verdict in the first trial of a building owner over bird collision deaths, a second trial over the same issue has just begun in Toronto. Cadillac Fairview Corporation, the owner of three office buildings in the city, has been charged with violating Canada’s Species at Risk Act: here.

15 thoughts on “US electric company killed 232 eagles

  1. A new study from the University of Southern California reveals a shocking figure: Every year nearly 7 million birds die as they migrate south from the United States and Canada. What’s killing them are the 84,000 communication towers scattered across North America that rise as high as 2,000 feet into the air. USC puts that in context by pointing out that the Exxon Valdez oil spill killed 250,000 birds –- not even close to the annual carnage from the towers. And it’s generally not the towers, themselves, that are killing the birds, but the dozens of cables that secure the freestanding structures. So what can be done? One solution would be to build shorter towers: The study found a direct correlation between tower height and bird deaths. (9:05 a.m.) via USC News


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