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Wind power takes a toll on migratory bats September 17, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment, Science & Technology.
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Wind power takes a toll on migratory bats
The danger of wind turbines to birds has long been known and well documented. Most recently several studies and articles have attempted to place the level of bird casualties in perspective: “More birds killed by cats than wind turbines”. But lesser known—and lesser studied—is the effect wind turbines have on bat populations. Collisions between groups of bats and wind turbines have been observed at numerous turbines in America, Australia, and Europe. While these fatalities, sometimes killing hundreds of bats, have been seen for years, their cause remains unknown.

Though a distressing and new issue, wind turbines are not the only threat to bat populations. Years of pesticide use has taken heavy tolls on insectivorous bats, while timber roofs treated with toxic chemicals is another pollutant issue. Cavers disturbing bats amid hibernation can be devastating. Habitat loss continues to be a top threat—as it is with many species. Finally, these nocturnal flying-mammals are still greatly misunderstood; in some places species suffer systematic killing: people set fires inside caves or use shotguns to decimate what they consider a pest species. 

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