Friday, 25 May 2012

Wind turbines kill hundreds of thousands of bats

"Through conservancy efforts of groups such as the Organization for Bat Conservation and Bat Conservation International, bats are becoming better understood and people beginning to understand the crucial role bats play in insect control and pollination.
In the United Kingdom, all bats are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Acts, and even disturbing a bat or its roost can be punished with a heavy fine." (wikipedia)

It is a well-known fact that wind turbines kill hundreds of thousands of birds every year. Now it is becoming clear that these expensive, ugly and inefficient machines also kill a huge number of bats:

Even if all the wind farms in Pennsylvania were utilized, they’d still only make up for about 6 percent of needed electricity in the state. And, ironically, they also seem to be messing with nature: One unintended consequence of the installation of wind turbines has been a massive increase in bat deaths. Bats seem to be drawn to them, and scientists can’t figure out why. But they do know that the rapid decline in our bat population—which is crucial to general insect control—is really bad news.
“A high [bat] fatality rate was observed at a wind farm in West Virginia in 2003 and from that point on, we began seeing high fatality rates in Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and then different rates across the country,” says Dr. Cris D. Hein, coordinator of the Bats and Wind Energy Program for Bat Conservation International. “So it became an issue that needed to be addressed quite rapidly, as wind development grew in the early 2000s.”
Each year, an estimated hundreds of thousands of bats are killed after colliding with, and getting shredded by, wind turbines. Last year, Pennsylvania’s 420 turbines killed an estimate 10,000 bats, according to the state Game Commission

Read the entire article here

No comments: