Editor's Note: A version of this story first appeared on PSmag.com on July 27, 2015, with the headline "A Mathematical Model to Predict How Many Eagles Wind Farms Will Kill." This edited version was published in our November/December 2015 print issue.
Researchers at the United States Fish and Wildlife Service have honed a mathematical model for predicting how many golden eagles a planned wind farm will kill. It may be morbid, but it’s a piece of science that will play a crucial role in regulations meant to save the soaring birds, which are protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.
The numbers the model spits out will be used in the permitting processes that decide whether wind-energy companies are able to build the facilities they want, and what regulations they may face. The model is just one part of a maturing effort by the U.S. government, outlined in our July/August 2015 cover story (“Bonanza”), to protect the wildlife that live on wind farms.
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