Bat’s from a Pacific Northwest that that migrates south for the winter faces a critical threat from wind turbines, based on research by the by Oregon State University-Cascades.
The research concludes that the hoary bat faces an uncertain future as a result of its population have declined by 2% per year, the news reports.
Collisions with propellers on wind farms reason for the death of bats stated Tom Rodhouse.
Another trigger is barotrauma, which occurs when bats fly by low-pressure zones made by the blades of a wind turbine. The sudden change in pressure affects their lungs to expand faster than the bats can exhale, leading to burst vessels that fill their lungs with blood, Rodhouse stated.
Oregon and Washington have around 3,600 wind turbines that producing capacity of 6,300 megawatts. Most wind farms are clustered close to the Columbia River Gorge. Others are close to Ellensburg and Walla Walla in Washington and Baker City in Oregon.
Whereas migrating, hoary bats fly into danger zones because their sophisticated sonar capabilities don’t detect the pressure drops, Rodhouse mentioned.
Barotrauma has connections to decompression sickness experienced by divers. Lungs of birds are more inflexible, with strong capillaries, making them much less vulnerable to the pressure modifications close to wind turbines.
White-nose syndrome that has killed bats elsewhere isn’t affecting the hoary bat, Rodhouse stated.
Hoary bats are named because of their white-tipped fur coats, look like frosty. They hunt in night and feed on insects that eat crops. The animals are slow to reproduce within the Pacific Northwest, with females producing just one to three pups per year, Rodhouse mentioned.
Cris Hein of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory stated there are methods to fight the problem.
Technology to protect the bats contains ultrasonic deterrents that that may prevent bats from approaching the wind turbines. Another choice is to turn off turbines in late summer season and fall when bats are migrating.