There is a lot of discussion about wind-mills and their perceived threat to birds – and of great concern – bats.
Here are a few discussion papers one might like to peruse.
Do Wind Turbines Kill Birds?
Every time the subject of wind farms comes up, so does the question “Do wind turbines kill birds?”
Even though wind turbines provide clean energy, some environmentalists object to them on the claim that they kill an extreme number of birds, especially raptors. It’s been a real hot button issue in some areas. The situation isn’t helped any by the fact that some not-in-my-backyard folks use a concern for birds to justify their objection to wind farms.
So the question is: do wind turbines kill birds? If so, how serious a problem is it?
I hope to describe the situation and put it into some perspective on this page.
The History of Wind Farms and Bird Kill – the Altmont Pass Problem.
Bats – considering bats in Ireland eat approx 3,500 insects per evening we can scarse do without them.
Bat Fatalities at Wind Turbines: Investigating the Causes and Consequences
In the push to develop new forms of sustainable energy, the wind power industry is at the forefront. Turbines that harness the power of wind already serve as effective power sources across the globe, and this proven effectiveness has led to vast increases in the number of turbines currently under construction. The general impact of wind turbines on the environment is likely far less than that of conventional power sources. However, recent evidence shows that certain species of bats are particularly susceptible to mortality from wind turbines. Bats are beneficial consumers of harmful insect pests, and migratory species of bats cross international and interstate boundaries.
Dead bats are turning up beneath wind turbines all over the world. Bat fatalities have now been documented at nearly every wind facility in North America where adequate surveys for bats have been conducted, and several of these sites are estimated to cause the deaths of thousands of bats per year. This unanticipated and unprecedented problem for bats has moved to the forefront of conservation and management efforts directed toward this poorly understood group of mammals. The mystery of why bats die at turbine sites remains unsolved. Is it a simple case of flying in the wrong place at the wrong time? Are bats attracted to the spinning turbine blades? Why are so many bats colliding with turbines compared to their infrequent crashes with other tall, human-made structures?
One research tool that is particularly well-suited to studying the origins of bats killed at wind turbines is stable isotope analysis. USGS scientists recently pioneered the application of stable hydrogen isotope analysis to the study of migration in terrestrial mammals and proved the efficacy of the technique for studying the continental movements of bats. Coincidentally, this groundbreaking research focused on the very same species of bat (the hoary bat, Lasiurus cinereus) that is killed most frequently at wind turbine sites across North America. Efforts are now underway at USGS to expand the existing framework of stable isotope data on migratory tree bats and apply this technique toward uncovering some of the mystery surrounding bat fatalities at wind turbines.
Continuing on this prior trajectory, USGS scientists at the Fort Collins Science Center developed an active research program to investigate the causes and consequences of bat fatalities at wind turbines. Our specific focus is on (1) determining the geographic origins of killed bats and (2) assessing the potential roles of mating and feeding behaviors in the susceptibility of tree bats to deadly encounters with wind turbines. With expertise and experience studying bat migration and behavior, combined with an existing infrastructure that promotes collaboration between disciplines, the USGS is well-equipped to effectively address the problem of bat mortality at wind power facilities. Only through further research will we make progress toward minimizing the impact of this new form of sustainable energy on our Nation’s wildlife.
To learn more about this work or opportunities to collaborate, contact
This is a very short cut from a longer paper follow link above to read more and find more links .
U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information: AskFORT@usgs.gov