Research may prevent bat deaths caused by wind turbine pressure
Written byCHRISTINE PETERSON, Casper Star-Tribune
Wind turbine blades rarely hit bats as they do birds. Instead, bats fly near the spinning blades, and the change in pressure ruptures capillaries along the edges of their lungs. Their lungs fill with fluid, causing them to drown, said Doug Keinath, a senior zoologist with the Wyoming Natural Diversity Database.
All bats are susceptible to barotrauma, but in Wyoming, wind turbines seem primarily to kill the silver-haired, hoary and eastern red bats. Those are also Wyoming’s only tree-roosting, migratory bats.
Lack of research means scientists don’t know exactly how many bats are killed by turbines, but estimates range from very few in some areas to up to 70 bats per megawatt of energy per year, Keinath said.
Most turbines generate about 2.5 megawatts of energy. That’s roughly 175 bats killed per wind turbine per year.VIEW ORIGINAL ARTICLE