Research Task: RB00CNG.17.0
Task Manager: Paul Cryan
Wind energy is one of the fastest-growing energy industries in the world, and wind turbines are killing increasing numbers of bats in both North America and Europe. Causes of bat collisions with turbines remain undetermined, although migratory species that roost in trees ("tree bats") are disproportionately affected. This task aims to determine the causes of bat collisions with turbines and assess the potential consequences of turbines on susceptible bat populations. In particular, FORT biologists are building upon their earlier studies of migration in tree bats to help determine (1) the geographic origins of bats killed by turbines, using stable isotope techniques to identify the geographic origins of migratory hoary bats killed at wind turbine facilities; (2) whether bats are attracted to turbines; (3) if mating and/or feeding behaviors play a role in fatalities; and (4) new ways of detecting and observing bats at heights of wind turbines (50–200m). Results of this work will be applicable toward assessing the health of tree bat populations and developing management strategies to minimize the impacts of turbines on bats, and will directly support current efforts by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to establish guidelines for wildlife-friendly wind energy development.
For more information contact Paul Cryan