Bats stand in the way of wind turbines

The Enterprise Bulletin
COLLINGWOOD – Citizen scientists have proven beyond a doubt there is a population of endangered little brown bats in the area where wpd Canada Inc. plans to erect eight 500-foot wind turbines. Evidence from three bat biologists was presented at the Feb. 28 appeal hearing of the Environmental Review Tribunal chaired by Dirk Vander Bent with panel member Hugh Wilkins in the Collingwood council chamber Feb. 28.

Witness and bat ecologist Sarah Mainguy said building turbines on the Clearview Township property would cause “serious and irreversible harm” to the endangered species. She was a witness for Preserve Clearview, a citizen group fighting the turbines. Mainguy provided the panel with a map showing the prevalence of habitat of the little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus) and other species in the wind turbine area in Clearview Township.

She said citizen scientists Betty Schneider and Susan Richardson collected 2,000 bat call recordings obtained over 43 nights from different houses. “I went through the recordings to identify myotis. I screened all the calls and came up with the conclusion that 152 calls were identified as myotis and 146 were confident of myotis, all of which are endangered,” she said. Mainguy said the women were not allowed on Beattie family land where the turbines would be built but were allowed on other properties in the near vicinity.

“We knew there were myotis but there are more than was earlier suggested. They are reasonably spread out in the area in red brick houses, which is their favourite.”

wpd has not provided information on where the bats are located, she added. “We feel there is a large gap in the information provided in the pre-construction studies on where the bats are located. I feel this is a considerable gap especially in light of us finding quite a large number of bats,” she said. Read article

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