A research team is studying bats and their movements this week in La Salle County, which could generate findings valuable to the wind turbine industry.
Details of the study on Tuesday were scant, primarily because the study is by a private wind energy firm, Invenergy of Chicago, and because it involves a highly-sensitive state area closed to the public, the Pecumsaugan Creek-Blackball Mines Nature Preserve.
Invenergy has a large wind farm in the Grand Ridge area in southeastern La Salle County.
Researchers were catching bats and fitting them with radio transmitters so they could track their movements, and also were using aircraft, said Joseph Kath, Illinois Department of Natural Resources endangered species manager.
Among the bats in the county is the endangered Indiana bat. Invenergy’s scientific consultant was working with officials with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and state DNR because of their mutual interest in bat biology, Kath said.
The study results should be useful to the broader wind industry and to wildlife managers, Kath said.
Invenergy spokeswoman Alissa Krinsky said the study will be completed this week, and offered this e-mailed statement:
“As a progressive developer of wind projects, we’re committed to the co-existence of wind and wildlife. Irrespective of specific development plans, from time to time we conduct or sponsor studies to evaluate and better understand wildlife activity in general.”
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding