Wildlife Research Institute
EAGLE EXPERT HIRED BY WIND INDUSTRY LOCALLY PLEADS GUILTY TO ILLEGAL GOLDEN EAGLE TAKE AND FAILING TO FILE REPORTS ON BIRDS HE TRACKED
By Miriam Raftery
April 19, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – David Bittner, eagle expert with Wildlife Research Institute, pled guilty to federal charges of unlawful taking of a Golden Eagle without a permit and failing to file any data reports for a four-year period on birds that he had banded.
Bittner conducted studies on Golden Eagles for Iberdrola’s Tule Wind project in East County, which was approved by the federal government on public lands as well as by the county on private properties. Portions of the project on state and tribal lands, where several Golden Eagle nests were reported, are pending approvals by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and State Lands Commission.
“Can those agencies rely on Bittner’s Golden Eagle work for Tule wind that was apparently unpermitted and unlawful?” asks Donna Tisdale, chair of Boulevard Planning Group and a founder of two citizens groups, Protect Our Communities Foundation and Backcountry Against Dumps, that has filed a lawsuit seeking to halt the project. “What other breaches of law or professional ethics might be involved?”
Reprinted with permission from San Diego Loves Green.
By Roy L. Hales
March 6, 2013 (San Diego) -- According to a recent "Golden Eagle Threat Alert" by the Wildlife Research Institute (WRI), “human activity is causing the rapid extirpation of our last remaining Golden Eagle Territories.” They claim that over the past few decades, the number of San Diego’s “active golden eagle territories” has dropped from 103 to 49.
The US Fish & Wildlife Service states that wind turbines kill almost half a million birds every year. More recent studies suggest the number is much higher, somewhere between 13 and 39 million birds. Many of these are raptors.
Event continues each Saturday in January and February
By Miriam Raftery
January 27, 2013 (Ramona ) – A Ferruginous hawk, the largest hawk found in San Diego County, hunkers down on a treetop at the Ramona Grasslands preserve. In a field nearby, volunteers with the Wildlife Research Institute give visitors an up-close look at another of these magnificent birds (left), which winter in our region after migrating south from the northern U.S. and Canada.
Rainfall moved the event indoors, where a Peregrine Falcon and a Screech Owl were shown off next. “We’ve never cancelled a single time,” WRI executive director Dave Bittner notes. Later, as the weather cleared, Bittner displayed a golden eagle outdoors; a special report by the WRI warns that “our last remaining Golden Eagle territories in San Diego County are being threatened.”
By Millicent Arko