Articles filed under Impact on Bats
Based on an extrapolation accounting for carcasses missed or scavenged, Hemmera estimated a total of 156 bats and 82 birds were killed by the turbines in 2010, a mean of 4.57 bats and 2.41 birds per turbine.
Bat and Wind Energy Cooperative commissioned a two-year study [of] randomly selected 10 turbines in the areas and fitted them with bat deterrent devices-"an acoustic device," Hein says, "that would generate a noise that would disrupt a bat's ability to locate the turban plate"-to see if it made a difference.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in a letter to a law firm representing a number of the region's conservation groups, says it will take a second look at the proposed Shaffer Mountain project in light of the bat found at the North Allegheny Windpower Project.
"We're watching a potential extinction event on the order of what we experienced with bison and passenger pigeons for this group of mammals," said Mylea Bayless, conservation programs manager for Bat Conservation International in Austin, Tex. "The difference is we may be seeing the regional extinction of multiple species," Bayless said.
Some scientists believe thousands of bats, including non-endangered species like the Seminole bat, are dying each year in wind turbines, based on available counts of bat deaths at existing wind farms. "Most biologists will tell you that over time and cumulatively, [bats] won't be able to sustain these fatality rates," said Ed Arnett, the director of science and policy for Bat Conservation International.
If wind power is to achieve its potential in the western Lake Erie region, the wind industry must concede the risks such generation poses and address them sensitively. Denial and rationalization will work to the industry's detriment.
A coalition of conservation groups is threatening to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for issuing an opinion allowing a proposed wind turbine facility on ecologically sensitive Shaffer Mountain to mitigate damage it would do to a maternity colony of endangered Indiana bats.
Nearly 75 percent of the bats had broken bones, mainly in the wings, and the majority had sustained a mix of skeletal fractures and soft-tissue damage such as ruptured organs, internal bleeding, and hernias.
The actual settlement that was agreed upon allows the turbines to be in 24 hour operation between mid-November and April 1 when the bats are hibernating. For the remaining months the turbines may only operate in the daylight hours. ...Curtailment cuts into wind plant revenue, but it helps avoid a PR disaster-in-the making.
The bat was discovered during volunteer daily monitoring of the farm on Sept. 26, and Duke immediately brought in an Indiana bat expert for confirmation, Efthimiou said. "We have not operated at night since the confirmation of the bat," he said of the span beginning before dusk and ending after dawn.
As winter approaches and many animals prepare to enter hibernation, biologists in Maine and throughout the Northeast are gearing up once again to monitor for a bat-killing fungus that scientists fear could wipe out some bat species in the region.
Though finding an Indiana bat might slam the brakes on a proposed wind farm, the presence of other bat species isn't likely to impede development. "There's a gradient of contribution and acceptance of wildlife impacts and what companies are doing about it," said Ed Arnett, a researcher participating in the Bats Wind Energy Cooperative.
The proliferation of wind power across the Midwest poses a danger to tree bats. For reasons that remain unknown, bats are attracted to turbines that tower above tree lines. Once the migratory species is close, the pressure drop can crush their fragile lungs or they can simply get smacked by the spinning blades.
However, the rapid growth and expansion of wind farms has had an increasingly significant effect on birds and bats, especially since, according to the GSR, the average wind turbine size has increased. The American Bird Conservancy (ABC), an avian conservation group, observes that upward of 14 birds per megawatt of wind energy are killed each year.
Nature Canada says the project's 86 turbines are among the most destructive of wildlife in North America. The organization argues TransAlta should shut down parts of the wind farm - one of the biggest in the country - during high-risk periods in the late summer and early fall.
"More important, however, it is a direction that will inevitably be disastrous for the many birds, bats, and other wildlife that will be killed and injured by poorly sited wind power projects, since the industry will have little if any incentive to take such impacts into consideration in making siting decisions."
The 420 wind turbines now in use across Pennsylvania killed more than 10,000 bats last year -- mostly in the late summer months, according to the state Game Commission. That's an average of 25 bats per turbine per year, and the Nature Conservancy predicts as many as 2,900 turbines will be set up across the state by 2030. This is a bad time to be a bat.
The group concluded in written comments that the project falls short of state law by failing to address the "expected cumulative fatalities" of birds and bats. However, project consultants for the county and the applicant, Nextra Energy Montezuma II Wind, LLC, pledged to provide habitat for wildlife and birds elsewhere.
Testing at wind energy sites throughout the state shows approximately 25 bats and four birds killed every year at each of the state's 420 active turbines ...That puts the estimated kills through June 2010 at some 10,500 bats and 1,680 birds.
Shelton says Delmarva is seeking approval to move the project to the Chestnut Flats site in Pennsylvania's Blair County, where an agreement has been reached that should prevent litigation over bats.