Consultants to the Wind Power Industry
on birds and other wildlife issues.
 
     

Bats and Wind Power

Bat fatalities have recently become an issue in the wind power industry because fatalities have been documented at wind power sites where post-construction bird studies have been conducted.

Because of these fatalities, various wildlife agencies and environmental organizations have become interested in determining whether a problem exists.

Bat fatalities have been studied at nearly the same number of wind power facilities as have bird fatalities. Data are now available from more than a dozen wind plants across the U.S.

Here's what we know about this issue:

  • The numbers of bats involved are small at most wind plants, although in Minnesota and Wyoming moderate numbers have been found.
  • Many of the bats involved in collisions with wind turbines were apparently migrating.
  • About seven species of bats have been documented to collide with wind turbines.
  • Bats involved are primarily common, tree-dwelling bats with widespread geographic distributions.
  • Endangered or threatened species have not been involved.
  • Population impacts seem unlikely.
  • Bat fatalities have not emerged as a significant issue at wind plants in Europe.
  • Migrating bats may turn off their “sonar” causing them to fly into towers.
  • Small numbers of bats also collide with communication towers.

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