I read with dismay that wind farms are planned for the Western Cape, many in the winelands. I also read in Business Day that these giant turbines can kill or main bats and was wondering if wind farms will affect the wine industry. – Marsha Diamond, Seapoint.
You raise a good point. Insectivorous bats can eat more than one-third of their body weight in insects a day, with moths and mosquitoes favourite prey.
Nectar-eating bats are important pollinators, while seed-eating bats are major dispersal agents for plants and trees. There are nearly 1000 species of bats (around one-quarter of all mammalian species) and their populations are in sharp decline around the world.
“Variety is in our nature” is the slogan of SA wine exporters and biodiversity is an important concept for the sustainable production of wine. Any threat to bat populations in the winelands would be a concern to any sensible farmer.
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