UK, radar ‘saves bats at wind farms’

This April 2013 video from England says about itself:

Noctule Bat (Nyctalus noctula)

An unexpected, but very welcome encounter with a Noctule bat in the early afternoon at Eyebrook Reservoir, Leicestershire. The animal had briefly been seen in flight coming in low over the water before, much to our surprise, landed on the exposed ledge of an ancient bridge and promptly had a good preen.

From the BBC:

Bats at risk of being killed by the growing number of wind farms could be saved with the use of radars.

Bat deaths at wind farms are thought to exceed those of birds and it is feared some species could eventually become endangered if action is not taken.

Now researchers at Aberdeen University believe radar may be key.

They studied the behaviour of bats at radar installations and found they did not forage where electromagnetic radiation could be measured.

Bat experts Prof Paul Racey and Dr Barry Nicholls studied bats at various distances from 10 radar installations across Scotland.

See also here.

Noctule bats found in Cornwall woodlands: here.

Eastern cave bats in Australia: here.

Birds and New Zealand wind farms: here.

Wind farms fall prey to demands of the golden eagle: here.

An interactive tool developed by researchers from the USDA Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Research Station (PSW) will help wind energy facility operators make informed decisions on efficient ways to reduce impacts on migratory bats: here.

2 Alaska refuges to get bird-friendly wind power: here.

April 2011: Dramatic footage of a wind turbine striking a bird has been released by American Bird Conservancy (ABC) as a poignant illustration of the dangers posed to birds by the burgeoning wind industry: here.

May 2011. A project to develop long high-performance blades for the next generation of large offshore wind turbines has been commissioned by the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI). Developers will be asked to design, build and test blades in excess of 90 metres long – each blade will be nearly the same height of Big Ben. However the ‘Request for Proposals’ ignores any possible impact on wildlife; in fact it doesn’t even bear a mention. Blades that are currently deployed offshore are between 40 and 60 metres long.

Schools of fish help squeeze more power from wind farms: here.

Fish, marine mammals and wind farms: here.

September 2011. RSPB Scotland has condemned a decision by a developer to appeal a second ruling by ministers to refuse consent for a wind farm as wholly irresponsible, and damaging to the industry’s green credentials. It is also a huge waste of money and a drain on precious public resources that are already under pressure: here.

Oil Companies Prosecuted for Avian Deaths but Wind Companies Kill Birds With Impunity: here.

November 2011: With the deaths of nearly 500 birds at the Laurel Mountain wind facility recently, three of the four wind farms operating in West Virginia have now experienced large bird fatality events, according to American Bird Conservancy (ABC): here.

8 thoughts on “UK, radar ‘saves bats at wind farms’

  1. Very interesting article. I have just one minor quibble, which is the statement that radar appears to be the only hope. The American Wind Energy Association, the (U.S.) National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Bat Conservation International have a cooperative research program that is working on a sonic deterrent. Considerable development and engineering work remains and it is by no means a finished product, but it may be another potential answer to the problem.

    Thomas O. Gray
    American Wind Energy Association


  2. Thank you for this reaction. I hope one method, or a combination of methods, will be able to end bat deaths. About a hundred years ago, many birds died around lighthouses. However, a combination of lighting the lighthouses and fences for the birds to sit on reduced that problem.

    Regards to you.


  3. Suit: Wind farm needs Endangered Species permits

    By ALEX DOMINGUEZ (AP) – 3 hours ago

    GREENBELT, Md. — A proposed West Virginia wind power project will harm a tiny, endangered bat and its developers should be should be required to obtain permits under the Endangered Species Act, attorneys for two environmental groups argued Wednesday in federal court.

    The developers admit bats will be killed by the turbines, but refuse to acknowledge the endangered Indiana bat will be among them, plaintiffs attorney Eric Glitzenstein argued in his opening statements.

    “Is there some reason to think Indiana bats will escape the fate” of the other bats expected to be killed, Glitzenstein asked District Judge Roger Titus, who is hearing the bench trial.

    Defense attorney Clifford Zatz said the $300 million, environmentally responsible, renewable energy project is in “limbo” because of an untested hypothesis “over a rare bat that no one has ever seen at the site.”

    The Washington-based Animal Welfare Institute and the Williamsburg, W.Va.-based Mountain Communities for Responsible Energy sued Rockville-based Beech Ridge Energy and Invenergy Wind. The groups say the defendants should be required to obtain U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service permits for the Greenbrier County, W.Va., wind farm.

    The first day of the expected three-day trial in U.S. District Court dealt with testimony by experts over whether the quarter-ounce Indiana bat with a six-inch wingspan can be found at the site.

    Penn State University bat researcher Michael Gannon said surveys using nets at the site have not captured an Indiana bat, but recordings indicate the endangered bat is at the site. The judge questioned the researcher himself after the opposing attorneys did.

    Gannon told the judge that of the 160 recordings that he reviewed, he was able to make an identification of 42, including three he thought were the endangered Indiana bat, although he could not say whether the recordings were of three separate bats or the same bat on three occasions.

    Under questioning by Glitzenstein, Gannon said he thought bats were at the site based on the location, habitat and recordings and he felt it was likely they would be harmed by the project. Under cross-examination by Zatz, who questioned the accuracy of audio recordings, Gannon acknowledged Indiana bats had not been captured during netting survey, but added that the netting efforts were not intense enough.

    In his opening statements, Zatz said the burden of proof rested with the plaintiffs and a better solution was what he called “adaptive management” of the project if it is found to affect the Indiana bat.

    Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press


  4. American Wind Wildlife Institute Announces New Director of Research and Evaluation

    © Business Wire 2010

    2010-11-17 19:44:45 –

    The American Wind Wildlife Institute (AWWI), an organization that facilitates timely and responsible development of wind energy while protecting wildlife and wildlife habitat, today announced the addition of Dr. Taber Allison as its director of research and evaluation. Dr.

    Allison comes to AWWI from the Massachusetts Audubon Society where he has served as chief scientist and Vice President since 2001.

    “Taber brings extraordinary wind-wildlife expertise, a commitment to rigorous scientific research, and years of experience working with diverse stakeholders to study and protect ecological resources,” said Abby Arnold, Executive Director of AWWI. For example, on the issue of wind energy and wildlife, Dr. Allison co-led Mass Audubon’s evaluation of Cape Wind and directed independent field studies on avian impacts at the proposed project site. Many have praised his work for setting a new standard for comprehensive wind-wildlife evaluation, which helped facilitate responsible siting.

    Dr. Allison brings over twenty-five years of expertise in the study and stewardship of ecological resources to AWWI. Educated as a plant ecologist, Dr. Allison has served on the faculty of the Ohio State University, the University of Massachusetts, the University of Colorado, Williams College and the University of Minnesota. He has also served in leadership positions at prominent research institutes that include the National Science Foundation’s Division of Environmental Biology and the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory. He holds a Ph.D. in plant ecology from the University of Minnesota, a master’s degree of forest science from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a bachelor’s of arts in biology from Wesleyan University.

    Dr. Allison will oversee AWWI’s research programs, including a research information system pilot, a research plan, and mitigation strategies. He will carry on the work of Dr. Judd Howell, who has directed AWWI’s research for the past two years. Howell will continue with AWWI through the transition.

    About the American Wind Wildlife Institute

    Founded in 2008, the American Wind Wildlife Institute facilitates timely and responsible development of wind energy while protecting wildlife and wildlife habitat. Its founding members include twenty of the nation’s top science-based environmental organizations and wind energy companies.
    A first-of-its-kind collaboration, AWWI supports research, mapping, mitigation and public education initiatives that guide best practices in wind farm siting and habitat protection.

    American Wind Wildlife Institute (AWWI)Abby Arnold,

    Executive Director202-535-7800


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