Library filed under Impact on Bats

Bats and wind turbines

Here's a mystery, why would bats known for stealth flying skills, that allows them to sense something as small as a human hair have a problem avoiding huge wind turbines? New research reveals what's happening. Reporter Jo Garrett talks with one of Wisconsin's leading bat experts who is helping to unravel the mystery. Duration: 6 minutes 51 seconds
14 Mar 2010

Bats face many obstacles

White-nose snydrome has the potential to devastate bats, which also are dying from impacts with wind turbines, Whidden said Feb. 25 during a lecture at Penn State Hazleton. Even before the new threats appeared to the nine species of bats regularly seen in Pennsylvania, one of them, the Indiana bat, was on the federal endangered species list, and that state listed the small-footed bat as threatened.
7 Mar 2010

Beech Ridge development to proceed; Federal judge approves plan to protect wildlife

Construction of the Beech Ridge wind farm will proceed immediately, following the approval Tuesday by a federal judge of a settlement between the project's developer and environmentalists who sought to derail the Greenbrier County venture. U.S. District Judge Roger Titus approved an agreement between Chicago-based Invenergy Wind LLC and wildlife groups to protect endangered Indiana bats.
28 Jan 2010

Post‐construction bat and bird fatality study at the Blue Sky Green Field Wind Energy Center

In February, 2007, the Wisconsin Public Service Commission awarded Wisconsin Electric Power Company (WEPCO) a Certificate Of Public Convenience and Necessity to construct a wind electric generation facility and associated electric facilities (Case # 6630-CE-294), to be located in Fond du Lac County. The Blue Sky Green Field facility, consisting of 88 Vestas V-80 (1.65 megawatt) towers and totaling 145 megawatts, began commercial operation in May 2008. As a condition of approval, the Wisconsin Public Service Commission required post-construction mortality studies be conducted. Combined mortality for birds and bats per year was found to be very high at 52.37 animals per turbine per year or over 4,600 deaths for the site. The results of the fatality study can be accessed by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page. The executive summary of the report is provide below.
17 Dec 2009

Federal judge halts Greenbrier wind project

A federal district court judge in Maryland placed a huge roadblock in the path of a planned industrial wind facility in northern Greenbrier County, saying construction of the wind turbines would violate the Endangered Species Act. Judge Roger W. Titus issued an order Tuesday afternoon granting an injunction, which halts the $300 million project in its tracks.
17 Dec 2009

Developing wind power not easy task

West Virginia is the third-largest producer of wind power in the eastern United States, but as a judicial decision in Maryland this week shows, developing the resource isn't easy. ...Titus ordered the project halted until Beech Ridge and Invenergy, its corporate parent, obtain a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Titus also said the company cannot operate any of the project's 40 existing turbines between April 1 and Nov. 15.
11 Dec 2009

Court constricts W.Va. wind farm to protect bats

a federal judge in Maryland has halted expansion of a West Virginia wind farm, saying its massive turbines would kill endangered Indiana bats. U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus ruled that Chicago-based Invenergy can complete 40 windmills it has begun to install on an Appalachian ridge in Greenbrier County. But he said the company cannot move forward on the $300 million project -- slated to have 122 turbines along a 23-mile stretch -- without a special permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
10 Dec 2009

Federal judge halts work on Greenbrier wind farm

A federal court opinion filed Tuesday in Maryland blocks completion of the planned 119-turbine Beech Ridge Energy wind farm in Greenbrier County, and restricts the operation of the project's 40 already-built turbines to the hibernation period of an endangered bat species. The opinion, written by U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus in Greenbelt, Md., determined that Beech Ridge violated the terms of the Endangered Species Act.
9 Dec 2009

Animal Welfare Institute, v. Beech Ridge Energy LLC: District Court opinion and order

Opinion_thumb Federal district court Judge Roger Titus of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland issued a comprehensive ruling that an industrial wind energy facility in Greenbrier County, West Virginia will kill and injure endangered Indiana bats, in violation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The court concluded that “the development of wind energy can and should be encouraged, but wind turbines must be good neighbors.” This is the first federal court ruling in the country finding a wind power project in violation of federal environmental law. Judge Titus' opinion and order on this matter can be downloaded by clicking the links at the bottom of this page.
8 Dec 2009

Federal judge halts Greenbrier wind project

A federal district court judge in Maryland placed a huge roadblock in the path of a planned industrial wind facility in northern Greenbrier County, saying construction of the wind turbines would violate the Endangered Species Act. Judge Roger W. Titus issued an order Tuesday afternoon granting an injunction, which halts the project in its tracks.
8 Dec 2009

Groups try to slow wind energy project over potential harm to bats

A federal judge is expected to rule on a case that could change the course of a wind farm in Greenbrier County. The Animal Welfare Institute and Mountain Communities for Responsible Energy say the Beech Ridge wind energy project has the potential to harm the endangered Indiana bat and the groups are suing the developer, Invenergy, LLC, to stop the project.
2 Dec 2009

White-nose Syndrome threatens the survival of hibernating bats in North America

White-nose_syndrome_threate_thumb During the winter of 2006/2007, an affliction of unknown origin dubbed “White-Nose Syndrome” (WNS) began devastating colonies of hibernating bats in a small area around Albany, New York. Colonies of hibernating bats were reduced 81-97% at the affected caves and mines that were surveyed. Since then, White-Nose Syndrome has been detected more than 700 kilometers (450 mi) away from the original site, and has infected bats in eight surrounding states. Most species of bats that hibernate in the region are now known to be affected and little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus), northern long-eared bats (M. septentrionalis), and federally listed (endangered) Indiana bats (M. sodalis) have been hit particularly hard. The sudden and widespread mortality associated with White-Nose Syndrome is unprecedented in hibernating bats, which differ from most other small mammals in that their survival strategy is to live life in the slow lane—their life history adaptations include high rates of survival and low fecundity, resulting in low potential for population growth. Most of the affected species are long lived (~5-15 years or more) and have only one offspring per year. Subsequently, bat numbers do not fluctuate widely over time, and populations of bats affected by White-Nose Syndrome will not recover quickly. Epizootic disease outbreaks have never been previously documented in hibernating bats.
1 Dec 2009

Causes of bat fatalities at wind turbines: Hypotheses and Predictions

Causesofbatfatalities09-mamm-s-076r1.1_thumb Thousands of industrial-scale wind turbines are being built across the world each year to meet the growing demand for sustainable energy. Bats of certain species are dying at wind turbines in unprecedented numbers. Species of bats consistently affected by turbines tend to be those that rely on trees as roosts and most migrate long distances. Although considerable progress has been made in recent years toward better understanding the problem, the causes of bat fatalities at turbines remain unclear. In this synthesis, we review hypothesized causes of bat fatalities at turbines. Hypotheses of cause fall into 2 general categories—proximate and ultimate. Proximate causes explain the direct means by which bats die at turbines and include collision with towers and rotating blades, and barotrauma. Ultimate causes explain why bats come close to turbines and include 3 general types: random collisions, coincidental collisions, and collisions that result from attraction of bats to turbines. The random collision hypothesis posits that interactions between bats and turbines are random events and that fatalities are representative of the bats present at a site. Coincidental hypotheses posit that certain aspects of bat distribution or behavior put them at risk of collision and include aggregation during migration and seasonal increases in flight activity associated with feeding or mating. A surprising number of attraction hypotheses suggest that bats might be attracted to turbines out of curiosity, misperception, or as potential feeding, roosting, flocking, and mating opportunities. Identifying, prioritizing, and testing hypothesized causes of bat collisions with wind turbines are vital steps toward developing practical solutions to the problem.
1 Dec 2009

Will turbines harm endangered bats?

Opponents to a proposed electricity-generating turbine project in Champaign County questioned Thursday during state hearings whether the wind-turbines would harm an endangered species of bat, but a researcher who studied the issue said the windmills would not. ...UNU attorneys argued the study did not follow specific guidelines for net placement developed by the department of fish and wildlife. A follow-up study by wildlife officials, however, did find evidence of the Indiana bat in the area. Meinke said she had worked closely with officials from the department of fish and wildlife when she conducted the study, which was deemed adequate at the time.
12 Nov 2009

USFWS comments on Pinnacle Wind Power Project

Usfws_pinnacle_93009_letter_uswf_thumb US Fish and Wildlife Service, Wet Virginia field office, issued these comments regarding the Pinnacle wind power project proposed for ridgelines in Mineral County, WV. The comments pertain to the Habitat Characterization and Assessment of Rare, Threatened, and Endangered Species for the Pinnacle Wind Farm (BHE Environmental 2009a); the Avian Risk Assessment for the Pinnacle Wind Power Project (Kerlinger 2009); and the Bat Risk Assessment: Pinnacle Wind Farm (BHE Environmental 2009b). Excerpts of the letter are provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking on the link at the bottom of the page.
6 Nov 2009

Wind farm will harm Little Galloo bird life

While the Galloo Island Wind Farm project seems to be moving slowly along, I am writing on behalf of those who cannot, the birds. Very close to Galloo Island is 43-acre Little Galloo Island. This, along with Gull Island and two small sites on Galloo Island, is designated the "Lake Ontario Bird Conservation Area" by the state Department of Environmental Conservation. These islands are one of the premier colonial waterbird nesting areas in North America. On Little Galloo is found probably the largest colony of ring-billed gulls in North America. Also found there is one of just two confirmed nesting sites in New York state for Caspian terns.
5 Nov 2009

Report paves way for wildlife-friendly wind power in Monterey County

The thousand of birds killed by the wind turbines at Altamont Pass tainted the reputation of the renewable energy source. But according to a recent report by the Ventana Wildlife Society and the Stanford Solar and Wind Energy Project, smaller wind-power projects may be able to harvest energy in some parts of Monterey County without harming the endangered California condor. "The condor is the main thing that's been holding up the development of wind-power projects in Monterey County," said John Roitz.
27 Oct 2009
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