Battering The Bats

  • Date: 21/06/17
  • Andrew Montford

The negative impact of windfarms on birds – and particularly raptors – has been fairly well documented over the years. There has also been quite a lot of discussion of the impact on bats, with gory discussions of how the pressure waves from the turbines cause the poor beasties’ lungs to explode. This is apparently all done in aid of the environment.

Hoary bat, by Justin Lindsay https://www.flickr.com/photos/justinlindsay/149492915

However, there is now a suggestion that windfarms might be even worse for bats than we thought. A new paper in the journal Biological Conservation claims that the impact could be so severe as to affect population levels of migratory bat species:

Using expert elicitation and population projection models, we show that mortality from wind turbines may drastically reduce population size and increase the risk of extinction. For example, the hoary bat population could decline by as much as 90% in the next 50 years

OK, it’s a computer simulation, and we know how cautious you have to be about those, but governments and environmentalists need to note the risks that they may be taking.

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