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Decimated Indiana bat population facing double whammy  

Credit:  The Journal Gazette, www.journalgazette.net 2 June 2011 ~~

The endangered Indiana bat is taking another beating at the Fowler Ridge Wind Farm in Benton County. Indiana bats – which are on the endangered species list – are being decimated by a fungal disease called white-nose syndrome. And dead bats were found recently during two routine surveys of the wind farm, indicating the bats might be flying into the turbines.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the wind farm are working on an Indiana Bat Habitat Conservation Plan to better protect the endangered bat that has habitat nearby. In the spring and fall the bats migrate from the caves where they hibernate to forest areas, and this migration is when the bats are most likely to be killed by the turbines.

The conservation plan will include steps the wind farm must take to protect the bat. But the wind farm is also applying for an incidental take permit from the Fish and Wildlife Service that will excuse the wind farm from some bat mishaps.

Source:  The Journal Gazette, www.journalgazette.net 2 June 2011

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