University of Calgary wind turbine-bat fatality study released

A study by the University of Calgary may provide some answers on why migratory bats are being killed by wind turbines in Alberta, Canada:

“Because bats can detect objects with echolocation, they seldom collide with man-made structures,” said PhD candidate and project leader Erin Baerwald. “An atmospheric-pressure drop at wind-turbine blades is an undetectable—and potentially unforeseeable—hazard for bats, thus partially explaining the large number of bat fatalities at these specific structures,” Baerwald explains. “Given that bats are more susceptible to barotrauma than birds, and that bat fatalities at wind turbines far outnumber bird fatalities at most sites, wildlife fatalities at wind turbines are now a bat issue, not a bird issue.”

University of Calgary press release found here. Video here.

According to information we have received, the study, “Barotrauma is a significant cause of bat fatalities at wind turbines” by Erin F. Baerwald, Genevieve H. D’Amours, Brandon J. Klug and Robert M.R. Barclay ultimately will be available online at http://www.current-biology.com.

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