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Even Small Wind Turbines Lower Bat Activity by Half

Even Small Wind Turbines Lower Bat Activity by Half

By Derek Markham, TreeHugger

One of the drawbacks of large wind turbine installations is the loss of bats, which play an important part in the environment and in our economy (up to $53B a year!).

Right now, researchers are exploring new solutions to reducing bat deaths at large wind farms, but with the rising number of small wind turbine installations for residential and urban areas, bats may lose more valuable habitat.

A research study by Dr Jeroen Minderman, of the University of Stirling, is the first study to examine the impacts on local wildlife activity from small wind turbine installations, and the results suggest that the microturbines could significantly decrease bat habitat in their immediate area.

“Previous studies have shown that birds and bats can be killed by colliding with large turbine blades or that wildlife may avoid the surrounding environment, leading to effective habitat loss. To date, studies have focused solely on large-scale wind farms. We therefore felt it vital to address this knowledge gap by determining whether such effects are also applicable to small wind turbines, to improve planning guidance and deter badly-sited turbines in the future.” – Minderman

The results of the study showed that bird activity was not significantly affected by the turbines, but that bat activity was 54% lower near operating units. The authors recommended that wind turbines be kept at least 20 meters away from important bat habitat, and hope that their findings can help guide future installation guidelines.


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12:24PM PDT on Jun 13, 2015

Thanks Molly.

2:14PM PST on Nov 4, 2014

Live long and prosper

4:29AM PST on Jan 29, 2014


10:26AM PST on Dec 1, 2013

I do believe it's important to protect each part of the ecosystem. Bats are a vital part of it, so any disruption should be remedied. But I still like wind better than nuclear. Thanks.

6:32PM PDT on Jul 1, 2013

Research into SOLAR POWER! Nothing gets hurt with solar power. Problem is the mega rich wouldn,t make money from it!

1:23AM PDT on Jun 25, 2013

So glad that people care!

We can build wind turbines and windmills -- where the birds and the bats do not fly. We can and have studied where birds and bats fly.

We can have birds, bats, wind turbines, wood wind turbines and wood windmills -- all exist !

11:50AM PDT on May 6, 2013


3:43AM PST on Dec 13, 2012

I am looking for the solution .Noted,thanks.

1:58AM PDT on Aug 31, 2012

This is tragic. We need safer turbines. Wind power is not more important than bats' lives.

12:17AM PDT on Aug 30, 2012

Sad...have to find better turbines and protect bats!

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