There is a lot that is still not understood about Tasmania’s Wedge-tailed Eagles. Threats to Wedge-tailed Eagles include loss of habitat (particularly nesting habitat) and mortalities from interacting with the human world – including their active removal by shooting, trapping or poisoning; collisions with powerlines, vehicles, fences and wind turbines; electrocution on powerlines; oiling, entanglement and pollution.

At Cattle Hill Wind Farm in the Central Highlands, optical devices at the site detect and identify flying objects. By measuring an eagle’s speed and flight path, the turbine can determine if the eagle will collide with the turbine, in which case it automatically switches itself off. This cutting edge technology makes the Cattle Hill Wind Farm the first of its kind in Australia.

The Wedge-tailed Eagle Fund has been established as an offset requirement for the Cattle Hill Wind Farm. The fund supports high quality ecological or other relevant scientific research on Tasmania’s Wedge-tailed Eagles, the results of which will assist with the management and protection of the sub-species.

The first research project approved under Round One of the Wedge-tailed Eagle Research Fund will be looking into how adult Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagles use areas of reserved land and wilderness. Five adult eagles will be fitted with GPS transmitters, which will make use of the mobile phone data-network to transmit data. The information gathered from this project will be combined with data from other GPS-tracked eagles across Tasmania to provide a state-wide understanding of how eagles are using the landscape and how their behaviour varies based on landscape type, land use, and habitat type. Researchers will use this large dataset to develop models that can predict where eagles are likely to perform specific behaviours – such as perching, short flights, long flights, roosting, nesting.

You can find out more about the Wedge-tailed Eagle Research Fund here