In 2019, Wyoming had an installed wind power capacity of 1,589 MW in Wyoming ranking 15th in the Nation. Wyoming is also home to one of the densest populations of breeding golden eagles in the lower 48 states, and it also hosts large numbers of wintering golden eagles from the north (e.g., Canada and Alaska) and from the south (e.g., New Mexico, Colorado) as well as itinerants from other states (e.g., California, Nevada).
The overlap between wind energy and eagles has resulted in notable negative turbine-eagle interactions. With an increasing number of turbines expected to come online in the future and the known site and context-specific risk to raptors from turbines, there is an important need to develop empirically-based, site-specific models that can predict risk to golden eagles and other raptors from turbines and to suggest predicted low- and high-risk approaches to development. The goal of this project is to create spatially explicit risk models to aid managers in minimizing negative interactions between eagles and wind turbines.
Assessing risk to golden eagles from turbine development: Adaptive management to build, validate, refine, and implement models to reduce wind-wildlife conflict.