Warning: strtotime() [function.strtotime]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /home/eerl/public_html/lib/ScoutLib/ApplicationFramework.php on line 1126

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/eerl/public_html/lib/ScoutLib/ApplicationFramework.php:1126) in /home/eerl/public_html/lib/ScoutLib/ApplicationFramework.php on line 158
the Environmental and Energy Resources Library - Behavioral Responses of Bats to Operating Wind Turbines Skip Navigation

the Environmental and Energy Resources Library

Home Browse Resources Get Recommendations Forums About Help Advanced Search

Behavioral Responses of Bats to Operating Wind Turbines

Wind power is one of the fastest growing sectors of the energy industry. Recent studies have reported large numbers of migratory tree-roosting bats being killed at utility-scale wind power facilities, especially in the eastern United States. We used thermal infrared (TIR) cameras to assess the flight behavior of bats at wind turbines because this technology makes it possible to observe the nocturnal behavior of bats and birds independently of supplemental light sources. We conducted this study at the Mountaineer Wind Energy Center in Tucker County, West Virginia, USA, where hundreds of migratory tree bats have been found injured or dead beneath wind turbines. We recorded
nightly 9-hour sessions of TIR video of operating turbines from which we assessed altitude, direction, and types of flight maneuvers of bats,
birds, and insects. We observed bats actively foraging near operating turbines, rather than simply passing through turbine sites. Our results
indicate that bats 1) approached both rotating and nonrotating blades, 2) followed or were trapped in blade-tip vortices, 3) investigated the
various parts of the turbine with repeated fly-bys, and 4) were struck directly by rotating blades. Blade rotational speed was a significant negative predictor of collisions with turbine blades, suggesting that bats may be at higher risk of fatality on nights with low wind speeds.

Cumulative Rating: (not yet rated)
Date Of Record Release 2010-04-08 13:35:47
Description Wind power is one of the fastest growing sectors of the energy industry. Recent studies have reported large numbers of migratory tree-roosting bats being killed at utility-scale wind power facilities, especially in the eastern United States. We used thermal infrared (TIR) cameras to assess the flight behavior of bats at wind turbines because this technology makes it possible to observe the nocturnal behavior of bats and birds independently of supplemental light sources. We conducted this study at the Mountaineer Wind Energy Center in Tucker County, West Virginia, USA, where hundreds of migratory tree bats have been found injured or dead beneath wind turbines. We recorded
nightly 9-hour sessions of TIR video of operating turbines from which we assessed altitude, direction, and types of flight maneuvers of bats,
birds, and insects. We observed bats actively foraging near operating turbines, rather than simply passing through turbine sites. Our results
indicate that bats 1) approached both rotating and nonrotating blades, 2) followed or were trapped in blade-tip vortices, 3) investigated the
various parts of the turbine with repeated fly-bys, and 4) were struck directly by rotating blades. Blade rotational speed was a significant negative predictor of collisions with turbine blades, suggesting that bats may be at higher risk of fatality on nights with low wind speeds.
Classification
Resource Type
Format
Subject
Source Journal of Wildlife Management
Keyword Bat behavior, Bat fatalities, Migratory tree bats, Thermal infrared imaging, Wind power, Wind turbines
Selector Selection Committee
Date Of Record Creation 2010-04-08 13:26:46
Education Level
Date Last Modified 2010-04-20 13:39:55
Creator Jason W. Horn, Edward B. Arnett, Thomas H. Kunz
Language English
Date Record Checked: 2010-04-08 00:00:00 (W3C-DTF)

Log In:





Mission
EERL's mission is to be the best possible online collection of environmental and energy sustainability resources for community college educators and for their students. The resources are also available for practitioners and the public.

EERL & ATEEC
EERL is a product of a community college-based National Science Foundation Center, the Advanced Technology Environmental and Energy Center (ATEEC), and its partners.

Contact ATEEC 563.441.4087 or by email ateec@eicc.edu