Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New research helps predict bat presence at wind energy facilities

Date:
January 9, 2012
Source:
USDA Forest Service - Pacific Southwest Research Station
Summary:
An interactive tool developed by researchers from the USDA Forest Service's Pacific Southwest Research Station will help wind energy facility operators make informed decisions on efficient ways to reduce impacts on migratory bats.

Bat. An interactive tool developed by researchers from the USDA Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Research Station (PSW) will help wind energy facility operators make informed decisions on efficient ways to reduce impacts on migratory bats.
Credit: Image courtesy of USDA Forest Service - Pacific Southwest Research Station

An interactive tool developed by researchers from the USDA Forest Service's Pacific Southwest Research Station (PSW) will help wind energy facility operators make informed decisions on efficient ways to reduce impacts on migratory bats.

Related Articles


Fatalities of migratory bats at wind energy facilities have become a frequent occurrence. Bat migration patterns are poorly understood and the relationship between fatalities at wind energy facilities and migratory behavior are still being studied. Previous research has shown that adjusting the operations of turbines can reduce the number of bats killed at wind energy facilities. However, this strategy has not yet been widely implemented.

Current research found that bat activity depends on time of year and a number of environmental conditions, such as wind direction and speed, air temperature, and moon phase. This suggests that there may be ways to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of mitigation measures. PSW ecologist Ted Weller and statistician Jim Baldwin developed an interactive tool that allows users to visualize how changes in date and weather conditions affect the probability of bat presence.

The tool can be found at: http://www.fs.fed.us/psw/topics/wildlife/bat/batprob.shtml

"Increasing the wind speed at which turbines begin to spin and produce energy to the grid has proven to be an effective way to reduce bat fatalities. However, bat activity levels depend on more than just wind speed," says Weller, who led the research. "Our work demonstrates the use of a decision-making tool that could protect bats when fatality risk is highest while maximizing energy production on nights with a low chance of fatalities."

Weller and his research team used devices which detected the bats' echolocation calls, then linked the presence of bats to the weather conditions measured on-site on a given night. Researchers found that echolocation detectors placed at 22 meters and 52 meters above ground were more effective at characterizing migratory bat activity then those located closer to the ground. Moreover, multiple echolocation detectors were required to accurately characterize bat activity at the facility. They then built models to predict the presence of bats based on date and weather variables.

"Properly deployed echolocation monitoring can be an effective way to predict bat activity and, presumably, fatalities at wind energy facilities," says Weller. "These days, pre-construction echolocation monitoring is as common as meteorological monitoring at wind energy facilities, so the basic building blocks for these models are available at most proposed sites."

Researchers conducted the study at a wind energy facility in the San Gorgonio Pass Wind Resource Area near Palm Springs, Calif. The study was a collaborative effort between government, industry, and a non-governmental organization to devise effective solutions to 21st century environmental issues. Cooperators included PSW, Iberdrola Renewables, and the Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative, with primary funding provided by the California Energy Commission Public Interest Energy Research program.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA Forest Service - Pacific Southwest Research Station. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Theodore J. Weller, James A. Baldwin. Using echolocation monitoring to model bat occupancy and inform mitigations at wind energy facilities. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 2011; DOI: 10.1002/jwmg.260

Cite This Page:

USDA Forest Service - Pacific Southwest Research Station. "New research helps predict bat presence at wind energy facilities." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 January 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120109145913.htm>.
USDA Forest Service - Pacific Southwest Research Station. (2012, January 9). New research helps predict bat presence at wind energy facilities. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120109145913.htm
USDA Forest Service - Pacific Southwest Research Station. "New research helps predict bat presence at wind energy facilities." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120109145913.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Fish Species Discovered, Setting Record for World's Deepest

New Fish Species Discovered, Setting Record for World's Deepest

Buzz60 (Dec. 22, 2014) A new species of fish is discovered living five miles beneath the ocean surface, making it the deepest living fish on earth. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Lava Inches Closer to Highway

Raw: Lava Inches Closer to Highway

AP (Dec. 21, 2014) Officials have opened a new road on Hawaii's Big Island for drivers to take care of their daily needs if encroaching lava from Kilauea Volcano crosses a highway and cuts them off from the rest of the island. (Dec. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Cheap Oil Help Fix U.S. Roads?

Could Cheap Oil Help Fix U.S. Roads?

Newsy (Dec. 21, 2014) As falling oil prices boost Americans' spending power, the U.S. government is also gaining flexibility from savings on oil. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Russian Surfers Brave Icy Cold Waters

Raw: Russian Surfers Brave Icy Cold Waters

AP (Dec. 20, 2014) Surfers in Russia's biggest port city on the Pacific Ocean, Vladivostok, were enjoying the sport on Saturday despite below freezing temperatures and icy cold waters. (Dec. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins