Articles filed under Impact on Bats
Researchers believe that even if their cave count did turn up a few survivors, the naturalists might risk disturbing bats when they’re most vulnerable, said Gerda Nordquist, mammalogist for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “Best to just leave them alone,” Nordquist said. “There’s just nothing left to find.”
The elusive winged mammals who make special appearances in decorations and throughout popular culture during the fall are under increasing threats across the state and the Midwest, the victim of a stubborn and spreading disease, shrinking natural habitat and a growing wind turbine industry. And with new changes to the Endangered Species Act, scientists and environmental advocates fear additional species of bats may be under siege from encroaching development and a changing, warming climate.
From cold-loving fungus to high-powered wind turbines, Maryland’s bats are getting annihilated. The decline of the Maryland bat population
DES MOINES — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced a habitat conservation plan proposed by MidAmerican Energy as the best solution to help preserve certain bat and eagle species at company wind farms.
"This and direct collisions with the turbines has resulted in millions of bat deaths over the last two decades," said Rodhouse. Oregon and Washington have 3,600 wind turbines that generating capacity of 6,300 megawatts. Most wind farms are clustered near the Columbia River Gorge. Others are near Ellensburg and Walla Walla in Washington and Baker City in Oregon.
Oregon and Washington combined have 3,600 wind turbines with 6,300 megawatts of installed generating capacity. In both states, the majority of the wind farms are clustered near the Columbia River Gorge, east of The Dalles. Other farms in the region can be found near Ellensburg and Walla Walla in Washington, and Baker City in Oregon. While collisions with the propellers on wind farms cause many of the deaths, barotrauma is another problem.
Kaheawa wants to increase its incidental take of adult hoary bats from 11 to 38, and of nene from 30 to 44. Nagel said the federal agency will issue separate final decisions on each of the four requests through publication in the Federal Register. The decisions have not yet been published.
Although the Indiana bat is listed as federally endangered, or in danger of becoming extinct, the Illinois Bat Conservation Program (www.illinoisbats.org) researchers have netted more of these bats than the once common little brown bat, which is not protected, and the northern long-eared bat, which is a threatened species at risk of becoming endangered.
The federal government will decide next month whether to allow a higher number of accidental bird and bat deaths at two Maui wind farms. Auwahi Wind Energy is asking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to allow an “incidental take” of 140 ope’ape’a, or Hawaiian hoary bats, up from the 21 bats it’s currently allowed to take. Kaheawa Wind Power II, meanwhile, is requesting to increase its incidental take of adult hoary bats from 11 to 38 and nene from 30 to 44.
Council planning and environmental services manager Peter Thom said DOC's submission concerned the potential effects of the wind farm on threatened indigenous species and other biodiversity. One of those species is the threatened long-tailed bat, which DOC's submission says may be at risk of colliding with the turbines, or losing feeding and breeding habitat through the wind farm.
Model estimates show that the take limit of one of the species, the Hawaiian Hoary Bat (Lasiurus cinereus semotus), has been reached due to the wind turbines causing greater fatalities than anticipated and Auwahi Wind is requesting an increased take for it. Auwahi Wind Energy, LLC is seeking approval of a major amendment to the HCP as part of the request to increase the amount of incidental Hawaiian Hoary Bat take authorized under the ITL.
Adams said bats are being killed by the millions by wind turbines. ...the bats are drawn to the turbines, where they are either struck or killed by a low pressure field that surrounds the turbines. “When you go out and you are driving and you think ‘How majestic,’ in my head I think ‘It is a death count,’ ” Adams said. “It’s really awful.”
The federal government has charged that state officials are rushing to approve wind power projects without adequately considering environmental impacts, particularly the adverse consequences for an endangered species, the opeapea bat. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service asked the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission in a Dec. 27 letter to stop approving any new wind turbines until state and federal officials have had the chance to meet with the facility owners and review the plans.
“How many bats are you killing?” he asked. “Why is that OK? If that’s an endangered species, why is it right to kill 40 or 60 of them?” He also questioned how the wind farm was handling the remains of the bats that had been killed. “Did you put them in garbage bags and throw them away?” he asked. “Was there any burial treatment? We treat them like human remains.”
Director of Science Nature Conservancy in Wyoming, Holly Copeland remarked, “Over a half million birds and about a million bats, a study in 2013 by Smallwood, et al showed. And if you run those numbers out for Wyoming there are about 5000 grassland birds we would be losing every year…there was a paper that showed 20 eagles and in addition to that Duke Energy reported 52 eagles as well.”
The staff of the Ohio Power Siting Board has recommended that the six wind turbines the Lake Erie Energy Development Corp. (LEEDCo) has proposed building 10 miles offshore operate only during daylight hours for 10 months out of the year while experts determine whether technology designed to detect bird and bat collisions with the turbines is effective. LEEDCo has tried without success to negotiate a compromise. The issue and other issues regarding sophisticated radar systems are now headed into hearings that begin Sept. 24 in Columbus.
The plan is part of MidAmerican’s request for a 30-year U.S. permit to allow for an average of 10 turbine-related incidental bald eagle deaths per year across the company’s Iowa footprint.
If extrapolated to all of Britain’s wind farms it would mean 80,000 die each year from colliding with the blades. The number increased with blade length with some individual turbines responsible for the deaths of five bats each month.
The mystery of why more than 80,000 bats are killed by wind turbines in the UK each year may finally have been solved. Scientists found the winged creatures are naturally drawn to sources of red light – an attraction that can confuse them on migration routes.
“It’s a conservation conundrum,” said Phillips. “We want green energy, but are we willing to do that at the extinction of our only native land mammal?” Fish and Wildlife officials anticipate the draft of the programmatic environmental statement and each wind energy project’s habitat conservation plan will be available for public review and commentary by the end of this year.