Articles filed under Impact on Bats
Kayla Fratt began preparing for her summer job in March, when a package of frozen bat carcasses arrived for her in the mail. Well, actually, the bats were for her border collies, Barley and Niffler, and it is really their summer job too. They needed to learn the scent of a dead bat, because they would be spending three months on wind farms, looking for bats killed by spinning turbines.
Projects designed to improve the efficiency of wind-driven energy production in the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area (APWRA) came with an unanticipated impact — an increase in bat mortality. While scientific experts are hesitant to even speculate at this point why they’re finding more bat carcasses near the new turbines than they did with the old turbines, those involved are aiming to create a reliable and repeatable means for studying and reducing the rate of deaths.
The old mine, in the Town of Moriah near the shores of Lake Champlain, is now one of the most important refuges for bats in North America. The Barton Hill hibernaculum, as it’s known, is a winter home to some 50,000 bats, including one of the largest populations of endangered Indiana bats outside of the Midwest. There are more bats in the mine than almost anywhere else in the Northeast. They may now all be in peril. Just down the hill, a developer is looking to reopen a pair of mines that closed in the 1970s to create a new hydroelectricity project.
In this region, numerous wind farms have been installed in recent years because of good wind conditions, but there has been little implementation of the legally required measures for the protection of bats. A Romanian research team cooperated with the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz-IZW) in Berlin to demonstrate that this leads to high death rates of migrating bats and potentially large declines even in populations living far away in other countries.
However, the developers of the project were less than satisfied with one of the conditions of the approval by the OPSB. According to the order, Icebreaker Wind must completely feather its turbines (stopping them from rotating) during nighttime hours from March 1 through November 1 as an initial bird and bat risk mitigation measure.
The extension of the PTC provides a stark reminder of how an influential industry can manipulate the Washington favor factory and in doing so, turn what were supposed to be temporary subsidies into permanent ones worth billions of dollars per year – and even more remarkably, get those subsidies extended without ever getting the money appropriated by Congress.
Could a small bat derail some big plans for an Oahu wind farm? It's the latest challenge to the controversial Na Pua Makani wind project in Kahuku. The endangered Hawaiian hoary bat or 'ope'ape'a calls that area home, and some people are saying the wind farm developers - AES US Generation- don't have a permit to move the bats.
Unfortunately, migratory bats are being killed by what Carter calls "wildlife in a blender," or wind turbines. "People call this green energy," he said recently to a crowd of bird lovers at Kennedy Library. "I call it red energy. I call them all kinds of terrible things." Not meaning to downplay the threat of wind farms to birds, but bird mortality at a wind farm is measured in dozens or hundreds, Carter said, while bat fatalities are measured in the thousands. "A single wind farm can kill 4,000 bats in a single season," he said.
Researchers believe that even if their cave count did turn up a few survivors, the naturalists might risk disturbing bats when they’re most vulnerable, said Gerda Nordquist, mammalogist for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “Best to just leave them alone,” Nordquist said. “There’s just nothing left to find.”
The elusive winged mammals who make special appearances in decorations and throughout popular culture during the fall are under increasing threats across the state and the Midwest, the victim of a stubborn and spreading disease, shrinking natural habitat and a growing wind turbine industry. And with new changes to the Endangered Species Act, scientists and environmental advocates fear additional species of bats may be under siege from encroaching development and a changing, warming climate.
From cold-loving fungus to high-powered wind turbines, Maryland’s bats are getting annihilated. The decline of the Maryland bat population
DES MOINES — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced a habitat conservation plan proposed by MidAmerican Energy as the best solution to help preserve certain bat and eagle species at company wind farms.
".....it is highly likely that large numbers of bats are being slaughtered by turbines offshore but nobody can collect the dead bodies at sea...."
"This and direct collisions with the turbines has resulted in millions of bat deaths over the last two decades," said Rodhouse. Oregon and Washington have 3,600 wind turbines that generating capacity of 6,300 megawatts. Most wind farms are clustered near the Columbia River Gorge. Others are near Ellensburg and Walla Walla in Washington and Baker City in Oregon.
Oregon and Washington combined have 3,600 wind turbines with 6,300 megawatts of installed generating capacity. In both states, the majority of the wind farms are clustered near the Columbia River Gorge, east of The Dalles. Other farms in the region can be found near Ellensburg and Walla Walla in Washington, and Baker City in Oregon. While collisions with the propellers on wind farms cause many of the deaths, barotrauma is another problem.
Kaheawa wants to increase its incidental take of adult hoary bats from 11 to 38, and of nene from 30 to 44. Nagel said the federal agency will issue separate final decisions on each of the four requests through publication in the Federal Register. The decisions have not yet been published.
Although the Indiana bat is listed as federally endangered, or in danger of becoming extinct, the Illinois Bat Conservation Program (www.illinoisbats.org) researchers have netted more of these bats than the once common little brown bat, which is not protected, and the northern long-eared bat, which is a threatened species at risk of becoming endangered.
The federal government will decide next month whether to allow a higher number of accidental bird and bat deaths at two Maui wind farms. Auwahi Wind Energy is asking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to allow an “incidental take” of 140 ope’ape’a, or Hawaiian hoary bats, up from the 21 bats it’s currently allowed to take. Kaheawa Wind Power II, meanwhile, is requesting to increase its incidental take of adult hoary bats from 11 to 38 and nene from 30 to 44.
Council planning and environmental services manager Peter Thom said DOC's submission concerned the potential effects of the wind farm on threatened indigenous species and other biodiversity. One of those species is the threatened long-tailed bat, which DOC's submission says may be at risk of colliding with the turbines, or losing feeding and breeding habitat through the wind farm.
Model estimates show that the take limit of one of the species, the Hawaiian Hoary Bat (Lasiurus cinereus semotus), has been reached due to the wind turbines causing greater fatalities than anticipated and Auwahi Wind is requesting an increased take for it. Auwahi Wind Energy, LLC is seeking approval of a major amendment to the HCP as part of the request to increase the amount of incidental Hawaiian Hoary Bat take authorized under the ITL.