People of Northwest Public Radio
Wind Farms Killing Bats
Thu November 14, 2013
600,000 Bats Killed At Wind Farms In 2012
Researchers are getting a better sense of just many bats are dying because of spinning wind turbine blades. A new study says more than 600,000 bats may have been killed at wind farms last year.
Bats are an important part of the Northwest ecosystem. They help control insect numbers. But bats are in trouble because of wind turbine blades. A new study has found that more than 600,000 bats – possibly up to 900,000 – died at wind farms in the continental U.S. last year. Study author Mark Hayes says those numbers could really add up over the years.
Hayes: “That additional mortality has the potential to substantially reduce populations.”
Hayes says one solution is to change the speed at which turbines begin spinning. Another is to send out acoustic signals that would help bats avoid wind farms. The advocacy group American Wind Energy Association says it follows guidelines to help protect bats. The group also participates in studies to deter bats from wind farms.
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