Bats Dying in Record Numbers


Bats Dying In Record Numbers

Bats are dying in record numbers because of wind turbines. It is believed through rough estimation that almost 600,000 bats have been killed from the turbines which are located at wind energy companies all over the United States, new research suggests.

While it might be presumed that the bats perished due to crashing into the wind turbines, they also died from blunt force trauma that was connected to unexpected changes in the air pressure around them. This was due to the speed of the fast-moving blades.

Mark Hayes, who works at the University of Colorado, and was the lead of study, which has been printed in the journal BioScience, states that there are certain parts of the country, such as in the Appalachian Mountains, which are seeing greater death rates. The bats mortality amounts were based on a per megawatt basis considering the power of the different wind turbines. This is how the largest rates of deceased bats were found linked with the Appalachian generators which are near the East Coast.

The study bases its information on the number of deceased bats detected at the various locations. Hayes led a statistical investigation to deduce the likely number of bat deaths at each of the various wind energy facilities.

He explains that his estimate is a conservative one and that the number of dead bats might be 50 percent higher than what he reported.  He added that because of a lack of a high value approximation of what the population really is of the North American bat, it is very hard to judge the significance of the bat deaths at all of the wind energy facilities. Since the bat population grows so slowly, because they have only one young one per year, this new disclosure is even more troublesome.

He also states that the population of bats has already been in dire straits because of disease and from climate change, therefore making this study even more important.  A fall in the number of bats threatens the world’s ecosystem.

Bats are vital for the Earth’s environment because they eat insects and even cross-pollinate a few plants. They do a lot of things that help the Earth to stay healthy.

Bats are already going through a terrible time because of the disease known as white nose syndrome.  This is causing deaths galore to occur to bats and there is no cure. It is feared that if this disease does not stop, it is eventually eradicate the entire bat population from existence because it is so deadly.  Scientists are working hard on trying to find a cure.

More  deaths because of the wind turbines is the last thing that bats need right now for their dwindling population. Hayes had discovered at one time that abandoned mines located in Colorado might be used to protect some of the bat species. They had been found in the Colorado area and did not have the white nose syndrome.

It seems to have worked so far, but that does not aid those that are in the Appalachian Mountains or those which already have the disease and are dying.

There is much work left to be done. It is very important to try and stop the bats from dying in record numbers from the wind turbines. This is something that must happen as soon as possible.


By Kimberly Ruble

UPI News

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