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Wyoming wind farm to use radar to track birds

Associated Press Modified: May 31, 2011 at 8:30 am •  Published: May 31, 2011

RAWLINS, Wyo. (AP) — A wind farm slated for southern Wyoming will use military technology to track birds and bats in hopes of preventing them from being killed by the turbines.

A radar system coming to the wind project just south of Rawlins will help developer Power Co. of Wyoming LLC collect data about the habitat and migration patterns of golden eagles, bald eagles, hawks and other bird species and bats at the proposed 1,000-turbine wind energy project.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports that the information will be used in a management plan for birds and bats on the company's Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project.

Garry Miller, director of land and environmental affairs for the company, said in a statement that the radar bird study is intended to "avoid, minimize and mitigate potential impacts to wildlife" caused by the wind project.

"Previous radar studies have not been specifically designed to detect and understand eagle use patterns, so this is one of the first applications of the technology," he said.

The monitoring program will identify areas of high eagle usage, which may then be considered when siting turbines and designing the Eagle Conservation Plan, according to the company.

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