Scholz, Carolin; and Voigt, Christian
Diet analysis of bats killed at wind turbines suggests large-scale losses of trophic interactions
[Abstract] Agricultural practice has led to landscape simplification and biodiversity decline, yet recently, energy-producing infrastructures, such as wind turbines, have been added to these simplified agroecosystems, turning them into multi-functional energy-agroecosystems. Here, we studied the trophic interactions of bats killed at wind turbines using a DNA metabarcoding approach to shed light on how turbine-related bat fatalities may possibly affect local habitats. Specifically, we identified insect DNA in the stomachs of common noctule bats (Nyctalus noctula) killed by wind turbines in . . . Complete article »
Insect fatalities at wind turbines as biodiversity sinks
[Abstract] Evidence is accumulating that insects are frequently killed by operating wind turbines, yet it is poorly understood if these fatalities cause population declines and changes in assemblage structures on various spatial scales. Current observations suggest that mostly hill-topping, swarming, and migrating insects interact with wind turbines. Recently, the annual loss of insect biomass at wind turbines was estimated for Germany to amount to 1,200t for the plant growth period, which equates to about 1.2 trillion killed insects per year, . . . Complete article »
Ellerbrok, Julia; Delius, Anna; Peter, Franziska; Farwig, Nina; and Voigt, Christian
Activity of forest specialist bats decreases towards wind turbines at forest sites
Abstract Worldwide, wind turbines are increasingly being built at forest sites to meet the goals of national climate strategies. Yet, the impact on biodiversity is barely understood. Bats may be heavily affected by wind turbines in forests, because many species depend on forest ecosystems for roosting and hunting and can experience high fatality rates at wind turbines. We performed acoustic surveys in 24 temperate forests in the low mountain ranges of Central Germany to monitor changes in the acoustic activity . . . Complete article »
Voigt, Christian, et al.
Wind turbines without curtailment produce large numbers of bat fatalities throughout their lifetime: A call against ignorance and neglect
Abstract – Bats are protected by national and international legislation in European countries, yet many species, particularly migratory aerial insectivores, collide with wind turbines which counteracts conservation efforts. Within the European Union it is legally required to curtail the operation of wind turbines at periods of high bat activity, yet this is not practiced at old wind turbines. Based on data from the national carcass repository in Germany and from our own carcass searches at a wind park with three turbines . . . Complete article »
Kruszynski, Cecilia; Bailey, Liam; Bach, Lothar; Bach, Petra; Fritze, Marcus; Lindecke, Oliver; Teige, Tobias; and Voigt, Christian
High vulnerability of juvenile Nathusius’ pipistrelle bats (Pipistrellus nathusii) at wind turbines
[abstract] Large numbers of bats are killed by wind turbines globally, yet the specific demographic consequences of wind turbine mortality are still unclear. In this study, we compared characteristics of Nathusius’ pipistrelles (Pipistrellus nathusii) killed at wind turbines (N = 119) to those observed within the live population (N = 524) during the summer migration period in Germany. We used generalised linear mixed effects modelling to identify demographic groups most vulnerable to wind turbine mortality, including sex, age (adult or . . . Complete article »
Voigt, Christian; et al.
Migratory bats are attracted by red light but not by warm-white light: Implications for the protection of nocturnal migrants
Abstract: The replacement of conventional lighting with energy‐saving light emitting diodes (LED) is a worldwide trend, yet its consequences for animals and ecosystems are poorly understood. Strictly nocturnal animals such as bats are particularly sensitive to artificial light at night (ALAN). Past studies have shown that bats, in general, respond to ALAN according to the emitted light color and that migratory bats, in particular, exhibit phototaxis in response to green light. As red and white light is frequently used in . . . Complete article »
Arnett, Edward; Baerwald, Erin; Mathews, Fiona; Rodriques, Luisa; Rodríquez-Durán, Armando; Rydell, Jens; Villegas-Patrace, Rafael; and Voigt, Christian
Impacts of Wind Energy Development on Bats: A Global Perspective
Abstract – Wind energy continues to be one of the fastest growing renewable energy sources under development, and while representing a clean energy source, it is not environmentally neutral. Large numbers of bats are being killed at utility-scale wind energy facilities worldwide, raising concern about cumulative impacts of wind energy development on bat populations. We discuss our current state of knowledge on patterns of bat fatalities at wind facilities, estimates of fatalities, mitigation efforts, and policy and conservation implications. Given the . . . Complete article »
Roeleke, Manuel; Mumrungsri, Sara; and Voigt, Christian
Bats probe the aerosphere during landscape-guided altitudinal flights
ABSTRACT – As the only mammals capable of powered flight, bats make efficient use of the aerosphere. Yet, our understanding of how bats use the three-dimensional air column is sketchy. By attaching miniaturised Global Positioning System tags to cave bats near a mountain ridge in Thailand, we show that these bats perform undulating ascending and descending flights in quick succession. Bats repeatedly used mountain slopes to ascend to altitudes of more than 550 m above the ground. We infer that mountain . . . Complete article »
Voigt, Christian; Lindecke, Oliver; Schönborn, Sophia; Kramer-Schadt, Stephanie; and Lehmann, David
Habitat use of migratory bats killed during autumn at wind turbines
Abstract. The killing of large numbers of migratory bats at wind turbines is a pressing conservation problem. Even though avoidance and mitigation measures could benefit from a better knowledge of the species’ migratory habits, we lack basic information about what habitats and corridors bats use during migration. We studied the isotopic niche dimensions of three bat species that are frequently killed at wind turbines in Germany: non-migratory Pipistrellus pipistrellus, mid-distance migratory Nyctalus noctula, and long-distance migratory Pipistrellus nathusii. We measured . . . Complete article »
Voigt, Christian; Lehnert, Linn; et al.
Wildlife and renewable energy: German politics cross migratory bats
[Abstract] The catastrophic nuclear meltdowns at Fukushima triggered a worldwide demand for renewable energy. As one of the few countries, Germany decided on an accelerated shift towards green energy, resulting in substantial conflicts with international conservation goals. Currently, large numbers of wind power facilities are erected in Germany, yet with unforeseen consequences for wildlife, particularly for endangered and protected bats. Presumably, more than 250,000 bats are killed annually due to interactions with German wind turbines, and total losses may account . . . Complete article »
Voigt, Christian C.; Popa-Lisseanu, Ana G.; Niermann, Ivo; and Kramer-Schadt, Stephanie
Catchment area of wind farms for European bats: a plea for international regulations
Abstract: Wind turbines are increasingly established throughout Europe and North America with often fatal consequences for wildlife, most importantly bats and birds. Yet, it is often unknown over what geographical distances wind farms are affecting animal populations. Based on stable hydrogen isotopes in fur, we assessed the geographic provenance of bats killed in summer and autumn at German wind turbines. We found that killed Pipistrellus nathusii originated from Estonia or Russia, and Pipistrellus pipistrellus from more local populations. Noctule bats . . . Complete article »
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