Technology installed to stop wind turbine blades killing or maiming eagles appears to be working well in the Central Highlands.
Threat to endangered wedge-tailed eagles is one of the arguments used by opponents of a big wind farm proposed by UPC Renewables at Robbins Island, in the far North-West.
BirdLife Tasmania convenor Eric Woehler recently claimed the fast tracking of the proposed Marinus Link electricity cable to the mainland along with associated wind farm development would "shred our eagles".
However, that does not appear to be the case at Goldwind Australia's Cattle Hill Wind Farm, south of the Great Lake.
Cattle Hill was the first wind farm in Australia to use IdentiFlight technology.
Goldwind had the technology installed and activated at its Cattle Hill site before the first turbine was commissioned in November 2019.
There had been no Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle or white-bellied sea eagle impacts recorded at the site to date, Goldwind said on Tuesday.
"The IdentiFlight system uses cameras and computer algorithms to identify the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle and the white-bellied sea eagle," Goldwind said.
"Once identified, if an eagle's speed and flight path indicate a risk of collision with a wind turbine, a system signal is sent to shut down one or more of the 48 wind turbines now installed on site to avoid a collision risk.
"Initial operation shows that the IdentiFlight system is performing the required shutdowns to mitigate the risk of collision."
The wind farm has 16 IdentiFlight tower mounted optical units.
Goldwind said they could identify eagles within about 1 kilometre of a turbine.
"As part of the calibration and testing process, IdentiFlight's neural network was recently updated in June with data gathered over the previous seven months, including the collation and review of more than one million images of eagles collected from the site, to help improve eagle identification, system efficiency and effectiveness," Goldwind said.
"An 18-month trial will shortly commence to systematically validate the effectiveness of the system."
UPC said it was assessing bird monitoring technologies and mitigation measures to help minimise any collision risk.
"These technologies include camera systems like IdentiFlight, radar systems and a combination of the two technologies," UPC chief operating officer for Australia David Pollington said.
"UPC is focused on ensuring the Robbins Island Renewable Energy Park is environmentally sustainable and we take the potential impact to birds seriously."
He said the company had installed nest cameras to help with monitoring and understanding eagle behaviour on the island.
"Further, UPC has engaged UTAS to put trackers on two wedge-tailed eagles on Robbins Island so we can gather more information of their flight patterns to better locate the wind turbines on the island to minimise collision risk," he said.
"This is also part of a wider study by UTAS to better understand the risk to wedge-tailed eagles of various activities and also to have a definitive estimate of the population of the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle.
"This study should provide greater insight into actions and further research to help ensure a healthy population of the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagles into the future."