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Tasmanian electrical system claims wedge-tailed eagles

Seven wedge-tailed eagles have been killed by Tasmanian electricity infrastructure in just four months this financial year, new figures show.

The Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment statistics show some dead eagles were at the Musselroe Bay wind farm in the Northeast.

TasNetworks annual report for 2016-17 revealed 15 birds including 12 wedge-tailed eagles, a white-belly sea eagle, a grey goshawk and a masked owl were killed.

Australasian Raptor Association spokesman Nick Mooney said the figures would be an underestimate because there was no systematic reporting.

“The electrocution reporting is just a drop in the bucket but it is the biggest killer now more than shooting and road kill,” he said.

Mr Mooney said it was estimated that there are about 350 breeding pairs in the state, about the same level as 2005.

Birdlife Tasmania convener Eric Woehler said it was concerning that seven birds had been killed in four months.

“But it may be that an improved culture of reporting by TasNetworks staff and by the public is an explanation so there needs to a caveat on any conclusions,” he said.

A TasNetworks spokesman said the birds had met a variety of fates, including electrocution and collisions.

The company would spend more than $600,000 this financial year on the installation of equipment to reduce the impact on birds, he said.