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Wind farm kills endangered bat

MUNCIE - The discovery last year of a dead bat at the Fowler Ridge Wind Farm northwest of Lafayette was unusual.

While it's common for wind farms to kill bats -- of which there are 46 species in North America -- this is the first time a federally endangered bat was found among the dead.

The bat killed at Fowler Ridge was a federally endangered Indiana bat, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) reported last week.

"This is one dead bat, but it verifies the conjecture and concern of scientists that Indiana bats can be killed by wind farms during migration," said Scott Pruitt, a field supervisor for FWS. "What we now have is every wind farm within the range of Indiana bats having the real potential of killing the bats during migration."

The Indiana bat is in danger of becoming extinct. Found in 20 states, almost half of all Indiana bats (207,000 in 2005) hibernate in caves in southern Indiana The 2005 population estimate was about 475,000, half as many as when the species was listed as endangered in 1967.

Like most bats in the eastern United States, Indiana bats are significant consumers of insects, including agricultural pests. Bats also are vital... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

MUNCIE - The discovery last year of a dead bat at the Fowler Ridge Wind Farm northwest of Lafayette was unusual.

While it's common for wind farms to kill bats -- of which there are 46 species in North America -- this is the first time a federally endangered bat was found among the dead.

The bat killed at Fowler Ridge was a federally endangered Indiana bat, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) reported last week.

"This is one dead bat, but it verifies the conjecture and concern of scientists that Indiana bats can be killed by wind farms during migration," said Scott Pruitt, a field supervisor for FWS. "What we now have is every wind farm within the range of Indiana bats having the real potential of killing the bats during migration."

The Indiana bat is in danger of becoming extinct. Found in 20 states, almost half of all Indiana bats (207,000 in 2005) hibernate in caves in southern Indiana The 2005 population estimate was about 475,000, half as many as when the species was listed as endangered in 1967.

Like most bats in the eastern United States, Indiana bats are significant consumers of insects, including agricultural pests. Bats also are vital pollinators and seed-dispersers for countless plants.

FWS is not against renewable energy; it says it wants to partner with wind farms, the number of which is growing.

The U.S. wind industry broke all previous records by installing nearly 10,000 megawatts of new generating capacity in 2009. Indiana rose in the past two years from 50th to 13th among wind-producing states. Three wind farms are being proposed in East Central Indiana.

FWS is commending Fowler Ridge's owners, BP Energy and Dominion, for recognizing the dead bat as an endangered species and for working with the agency to reduce future bat deaths.

The parties are working together to develop a plan to reduce further deaths.


Source: http://www.thestarpress.com...

FEB 15 2010
http://www.windaction.org/posts/24653-wind-farm-kills-endangered-bat
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