Bats mortality around wind turbines a concern to researchers

bat-killed-by-wind-turbine-bladesPrairie Post, by Stephanie Labbe
It has been estimated thousands of bats have been killed due to wind farms each year in southern Alberta alone.  Dr. Robert M.R Barclay, a professor and department head of the department of Biological Sciences at the University of Calgary, says bats are mainly being killed when they get hit by the turbine blades that are moving.

“Those blades are moving fast (about 200 km per hour at the tips). Some bats are killed when they get close to the blades and fly through a zone of low air pressure. This causes the air in their lungs to expand rapidly causing internal damage, much in the way that a scuba diver who comes up too fast experiences problems,” says Dr. Barclay in an e-mail interview.

“At another level, we don’t really know yet why the bats are so close to the turbines. Most of the bats killed are migrating south for the winter and we see all across North America, a large peak in fatalities in late summer and early fall. In Alberta, this involves two main species, the silver-haired bat and the hoary bat. These spend their days in trees. So some scientists hypothesize that the bats see wind turbines as giant trees that may provide suitable roosts for the day, and the bats thus approach them. Others suggest that insects are attracted to the turbines and bats, which in Canada eat nothing but insects, are attracted to the swarms of insects. Yet another suggestion is that the migrating bats mate during their southward migration and to find each other, males and females congregate at tall trees.” Read article

13 thoughts on “Bats mortality around wind turbines a concern to researchers

  1. Academia . Edu

    “A Large-Scale Mitigation Experiment to Reduce Bat Fatalities at Wind energy Facilities”

    Pub. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 73(7):1077-1081;2009

    Funding for this experiment was funded by TransAlta Wind and published in 2009.

    Mitigation measures can cost money.

    Lately a U.Calgary grad student asks public for money to finish her PhD bat studies due to lack of funding for her studies?

      • Don’t know if she got the money. Haven’t checked lately.

        It’s easier to get rid of a grad student at a university than it is a professor.

      • Yes! Great, she did get the money! The people came through for her.

  2. The Nextera wind project in Haldimand County is killing bats at a rate of 25 bats/turbine/year–2.5 times the allowable limit. It’s a pathway to extinction. That was the company that cut down the eagle’s nest. The raptor kill rate is at .28/turbine/year. The allowable limit is .2/turbine/year.

  3. Pick a Fight – and donate
    fish – bats – bees

    Canadian Association of
    Physicians for the Environment

    Re: Canadian scientific community.

    Cape says:
    ‘[excerpt] This letter, signed by a over 600 Canadian scientists concerned about ecological matters, asks the Prime Minister to reverse plans to essentially destroy protection of fish habitat in the Canadian legal system. It is of great significance that so many scientists, from so many disciplines, have been able to quickly unite in agreement over a single issue. We believe that this issue has touched at the heart of Canadians’ relationship to our environment. This letter confirms that this proposed enactment is broadly and strongly opposed by the Canadian scientific community.

    CAPE strongly endorses the position outlined in this letter.’

    March 22, 2012

    Erin Baerwald, MSc, PhD candidate, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Calgary

    The best available –
    ………and 600 available!

    It’s Spring!
    – the blue heron will be coming in
    for a landing – soon!

    I still love bubble gum – yup!

  4. Hey Barbara,

    from your posting:
    @ NextEra planning another 50 – 60 turbines
    for Middlesex-Lambton

    Thank you!


    CBC, Calgary, Jan.10,2015

    Grad Student Seeks Crowdfunding to Finish Bat Research Thesis

    An article to look at again?


    p.s. I took a look – again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *