Trial to save eagles

By Country News

High-tech sensors designed to stop endangered wedge-tailed eagles being killed by wind farms will be trialled in remote Tasmania.

Believed to be an Australian first, the aerial detection technology will be installed at the $300million Cattle Hill Wind Farm, currently under construction.

The tower-mounted sensors snap photos of flying objects and use algorithms to identify them as eagles.

If there’s a collision risk, any one of the farm’s 48 turbines will be shut down within seconds.

‘‘We look forward to sharing the results of this first Australian trial following installation,’’ John Titchen, managing director of the wind farm’s proponent Goldwind, said last Tuesday.

The adult population of wedge-tailed eagles in Tasmania is estimated at less than 1000.

A recent report from the state’s energy provider revealed 29 of the predatory birds died after flying into power infrastructure in 2017-18.

Construction on the wind farm near Lake Echo in Tasmania’s Central Highlands began earlier this year.

Once operational, it will generate enough power to supply about 63500 homes.

It is expected to boost Tasmania’s renewable power by five per cent and help the island state become self-sufficient by 2022.