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Wind turbines killing alarming number of bats: scientists  

Credit:  Wind Turbines Killing Alarming Number of Bats: Scientists | By Melissa Colorado | NBC Bay Area | January 25, 2022 | www.nbcbayarea.com ~~

Wind turbines are a critical piece of a cleaner future, but they’re turning out to be anything but good for some critical wildlife.

Scientists say the spinning blades are killing an alarming number of bats that are needed to help farmers kill off crop-eating insects.

The specific species of bats – hoary bats – are helpful because they love to eat nocturnal insects, according to Dr. Winifred Frick, chief scientist at Bat Conservation International.

“Actually provide real economic value to America’s farmers,” Frick said. “It’s been estimated that bats provide in the billions of services to America’s farmers in terms of eating all sorts of different crop pests.”

Frick said wind farms are killing swaths of these bats, which can fly as high as 8,000 feet during their long distance migrations in the fall.

“About a third of the bats that we know that show up underneath turbines as carcasses are hoary bats,” Frick said.

Frick said there’s still time to save the hoary bat population, saying there are ways wind farms can reduce the number of dead bats piling up around turbines.

“We know that most of the bat fatality occurs during low wind speed conditions during the fall migratory season, so by changing the wind speeds at which we allow the turbine blades to spin, we can actually dramatically reduce the number of bats killed and still produce quite a bit of energy,” she said.

NBC Bay Area reached out to American Clean Power Association, which represents renewable energy companies, but did not immediately hear back.

Source:  Wind Turbines Killing Alarming Number of Bats: Scientists | By Melissa Colorado | NBC Bay Area | January 25, 2022 | www.nbcbayarea.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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