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Bremen, Germany

Rydell J.,Lund University | Bach L.,Freilandforschung | Dubourg-Savage M.-J.,Societe pour lEtude et la Protection des Mammiferes | Green M.,Lund University | And 2 more authors.
Acta Chiropterologica | Year: 2010

We reviewed published and unpublished written reports on bat mortality at wind farms in northwestern Europe. The estimated number of bats killed per turbine annually was relatively low (0-3) on flat, open farmland away from the coast, higher (2-5) in more complex agricultural landscapes, and highest (5-20) at the coast and on forested hills and ridges. The species killed almost exclusively (98%) belonged to a group (Nyctalus, Pipistrellus, Vespertilio and Eptesicus spp.) adapted for open-air foraging. The bats were killed by the moving rotor blades as they hunted insects attracted to the turbines. This occurred independently of sex and age. Peak mortality varied considerably in frequency and timing among years, but the events usually (90%) occurred on nights with low wind speeds in late July to early October and to a lesser extent (10%) also in April-June. The mortality increased with turbine tower height and rotor diameter but was independent of the distance from the ground to the lowest rotor point. It was also independent of the size of the wind park (118 turbines). Bat species other than the open-air suite referred to above are usually not at risk at wind turbines, because they fly below the rotors, but are still killed occasionally (2%). © Museum and Institute of Zoology PAS. Source

Voigt C.C.,Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research | Lehnert L.S.,Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research | Petersons G.,Latvia University of Agriculture | Adorf F.,Buro fur Faunistik und Landschaftsokologie | Bach L.,Freilandforschung
European Journal of Wildlife Research | Year: 2015

The catastrophic nuclear meltdowns at Fukushima triggered a worldwide demand for renewable energy. As one of the few countries, Germany decided on an accelerated shift towards green energy, resulting in substantial conflicts with international conservation goals. Currently, large numbers of wind power facilities are erected in Germany, yet with unforeseen consequences for wildlife, particularly for endangered and protected bats. Presumably, more than 250,000 bats are killed annually due to interactions with German wind turbines, and total losses may account for more than two million killed bats over the past 10 years, if mitigation measures were not practiced. More than 70 % of killed bats are migrants, because major migratory routes cross Germany. Consequently, Germany’s environmental policy is key to the conservation of migratory bats in Europe. Prospective increases in wind power will lead to the installation of larger wind turbines with potentially devastating consequences for bats. The higher net energy production of modern wind turbines at low wind speeds may exacerbate the conflict between green energy and conservation goals since revenue losses for companies increase. We conclude that evidence-based action plans are urgently needed to mitigate the negative effects of the operation of wind energy facilities on wildlife populations in order to reconcile environmental and conservation goals. © 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Source

Rydell J.,Lund University | Bach L.,Freilandforschung | Dubourg-Savage M.-J.,Societe pour lEtude et la Protection des Mammiferes | Green M.,Lund University | And 2 more authors.
European Journal of Wildlife Research | Year: 2010

This note is based on a literature search and a recent review of bat mortality data from wind farms in Europe (published elsewhere). We suggest that mortality of bats at wind turbines may be linked to high-altitude feeding on migrating insects that accumulate at the turbine towers. Modern wind turbines seem to reach high enough into the airspace to interfere with the migratory movements of insects. The hypothesis is consistent with recent observations of bats at wind turbines. It is supported by the observation that mortality of bats at wind turbines is highly seasonal (August-September) and typically peaks during nights with weather conditions known to trigger large-scale migratory movements of insects (and songbirds). We also discuss other current hypotheses concerning the mortality of bats at wind turbines. © 2010 Springer-Verlag. Source

Rydell J.,Lund University | Bach L.,Freilandforschung | Bach P.,Freilandforschung | Diaz L.G.,Lund University | And 12 more authors.
Acta Chiropterologica | Year: 2014

We compiled the available information on the occurrence and timing of migratory bat activity across the Baltic Sea and south-eastern North Sea coasts and islands, based on ultrasonic monitoring projects at 19 localities in 2007-2009. The data refer to three species; Nathusius' pipistrelle Pipistrellus nathusii, soprano pipistrelle P. pygmaeus and common noctule Nyctalus noctula. Pipistrellus nathusii occurred at all sites (north to 61°N in Finland), while the other species were scarcer, particularly at the northernmost sites. The status of the recorded individuals is unknown. However, the activity most likely was of migrating individuals or individuals on migration stopover, because very few observations were made during the maternity period. Spring activity occurred predominantly in May, with the median observation date of P. nathusii 20 days earlier in the south (Germany) than in the north (Finland). Autumn migration was observed throughout August and September and activity that may or may not indicate migration was also observed in October and November. The median date of such activity in autumn usually occurred in September and without any significant difference in timing in relation to latitude. Migratory bats in the Baltic area apparently move on a broad front in most cases. The estimated speed of migration for P. nathusii in spring was 55 km/day. The entire coastline and islands around the Baltic Sea are of potential importance for migrating bats in spring (April-May) and autumn (August-September) and should achieve relevant protection according to EU legislation and its implementations. © Museum and Institute of Zoology PAS. Source

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