Perold, V.; Ralston-Paton, S.; and Ryan, P.
On a collision course? The large diversity of birds killed by wind turbines in South Africa
[Abstract] Wind energy is a clean, renewable alternative to fossil fuel-derived energy sources, but many birds are at risk from collisions with wind turbines. We summarise the diversity of birds killed by turbine collisions at 20 wind energy facilities (WEFs) across southwest South Africa. Monitoring from 2014 to 2018 recovered 848 bird carcasses across all WEFs, at a crude rate of 1.0 ± 0.6 birds turbine−1 y−1 at 16 WEFs with at least 12 months of postconstruction monitoring. However, mortality . . . Complete article »
O'Shea, Thomas; Cryan, Paul; Hayman, David; Plowright, Raina; and Streicker, Daniel
Multiple mortality events in bats: a global review
Despite conservation concerns for many species of bats, factors causing mortality in bats have not been reviewed since 1970. Here, we review and qualitatively describe trends in the occurrence and apparent causes of multiple mortality events (MMEs) in bats around the world. We compiled a database of MMEs, defined as cases in which ≥ 10 dead bats were counted or estimated at a specific location within a maximum timescale of a year, and more typically within a few days or a season. . . . Complete article »
Cryan, Paul; et al.
Behavior of bats at wind turbines
Significance: Bats are dying in unprecedented numbers at wind turbines, but causes of their susceptibility are unknown. Fatalities peak during low-wind conditions in late summer and autumn and primarily involve species that evolved to roost in trees. Common behaviors of “tree bats” might put them at risk, yet the difficulty of observing high-flying nocturnal animals has limited our understanding of their behaviors around tall structures. We used thermal surveillance cameras for, to our knowledge, the first time to observe behaviors . . . Complete article »
Mating Behavior as a Possible Cause of Bat Fatalities at Wind Turbines
Abstract. Bats are killed by wind turbines in North America and Europe in large numbers, yet a satisfactory explanation for this phenomenon remains elusive. Most bat fatalities at turbines thus far occur during late summer and autumn and involve species that roost in trees. In this commentary I draw on existing literature to illustrate how previous behavioral observations of the affected species might help explain these fatalities. I hypothesize that tree bats collide with turbines while engaging in mating behaviors . . . Complete article »
Cryan, Paul; and Barclay, Robert
Causes of bat fatalities at wind turbines: hypotheses and predictions
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 . . . Complete article »
Cryan, Paul; Jameson, Joel; Baerwald, Erin; Willis, Craig; Barclay, Robert; Apple Snider, E.; and Crichton, Elizabeth
Evidence of Late-Summer Mating Readiness and Early Sexual Maturation in Migratory Tree-Roosting Bats Found Dead at Wind Turbines
Abstract Understanding animal mating systems is an important component of their conservation, yet the precise mating times for many species of bats are unknown. The aim of this study was to better understand the details and timing of reproductive events in species of bats that die most frequently at wind turbines in North America, because such information can help inform conservation strategies. We examined the reproductive anatomy of hoary bats (Lasiurus cinereus), eastern red bats (L. borealis), and silver-haired bats . . . Complete article »
Wind turbines as landscape impediments to the migratory connectivity of bats
[Abstract] Unprecedented numbers of migratory bats are found dead beneath industrial-scale wind turbines during late summer and autumn in both North America and Europe. Prior to the wide-scale deployment of wind turbines, fatal collisions of migratory bats with anthropogenic structures were rarely reported and likely occurred very infrequently. There are no other well documented threats to populations of migratory tree bats that cause mortality of similar magnitude to that observed at wind turbines. Just three migratory species comprise the vast . . . Complete article »
Boyles, Justin; Cryan, Paul; McCracken, Gary; and Kunz, Thomas
Economic Importance of Bats in Agriculture
[abstract] White-nose syndrome (WNS) and the increased development of wind-power facilities are threatening populations of insectivorous bats in North America. Bats are voracious predators of nocturnal insects, including many crop and forest pests. We present here analyses suggesting that loss of bats in North America could lead to agricultural losses estimated at more than $3.7 billion/year. Urgent efforts are needed to educate the public and policy-makers about the ecological and economic importance of insectivorous bats and to provide practical conservation . . . Complete article »
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