September 17, 2018
Iowa, Letters

Tell Fish & Wildlife to protect bats from corporate greed

Tammy Baier

MidAmerican wind turbine farms seek permit to legally kill Eagles and endangered bats by deforesting their habitat and donating money to bat and raptor conservation efforts to make their kill numbers look better!

In a year where the Iowa Department of Public Health announced that they are currently investigating 73 cases of West Nile Virus, which is the highest it’s been in about 15 years. MidAmerican is seeking a permit to allow them to put up wind turbines in designated fly zones for bald eagles and in the middle of endangered bat colonies. Their plan is to deforest or tear down the trees where the bats or eagles live so they won’t fly where MidAmerican wants to put up the turbines. This make no sense. Why not just put the turbines up where these endangered species aren’t living?

Are you aware that a single little brown bat (myotis) can eat up to 1000 mosquitoes in a single hour? And that a single colony of 150 big brown bats can protect local farmers from up to 33 million or more rootworms each summer? Or that a nursing little brown bat mother can eat more than her body weight nightly (up to 4,500 insects)? And that is organic pest removal!!!

Most bat moms give birth to only a single pup each year, making them very vulnerable to extinction. Bats are the slowest reproducing mammals on earth for their size. Many important agricultural plants, like bananas, peaches, bread-fruit, mangoes, cashews, almonds, dates and figs rely on bats for pollination and seed dispersal. Nearly 40% of American bat species are in severe decline or already listed as endangered or threatened. Losses are occurring at alarming rates worldwide.

Existing chemical pesticides typically cause more long-term problems than they solve. Chemical poisons kill natural mosquito predators more effectively than mosquitoes. Over time, predators of mosquitoes such as fish, other insects, and bats, die out while mosquitoes develop resistance to the chemicals.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The should not to be able to be paid off by corporate greed.

The 1972 amendments increased civil penalties for violating provisions of the Act to a maximum fine of $5,000 or one year imprisonment with $10,000 or not more than two years in prison for a second conviction. Felony convictions carry a maximum fine of $250,000 or two years of imprisonment. The fine doubles for an organization. Rewards are provided for information leading to arrest and conviction for violation of the Act. How is it that if an individual were to go kill an eagle, we would be thrown in jail and fined, yet a “for profit” business can seek a pardon to get buy with it?

There are laws put in to place to protect our endangered species for a reason. Corporate greed should not be able to come in and pay their way around those laws. So, if MidAmerican wanted to remove the habitat on the African Savanna just to put up turbines threatening the black rhino or cheetah by throwing some money at a few zoos, that makes it all ok? Think about it! Iowa, this is our Savanna and we need to protect it because these bats protect us!!

The following is a link where you need to comment to the US Fish and Wildlife Service that this permit needs to be stopped!

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