Posts Tagged Mortality

US wind energy turbines killed 600,000 bats last year, study says

From the South China Morning Post:

More than 600,000 bats were killed by wind turbines across the United States last year, with the highest concentration of kills in the Appalachian Mountains, according to new research.

In a paper published in the journal BioScience, University of Colorado biologist Mark Hayes used records of dead bats found beneath wind generators and statistical analysis to estimate how many bats were struck and killed by generator propellers each year.

“Dead bats are being found underneath wind turbines across North America,” Hayes wrote. “This estimate of bat fatalities is probably conservative.”

The new estimate is among the highest yet for generator-related bat deaths. Previous studies have calculated mortality rates of between 33,000 and 888,000 a year.

The bat deaths were calculated on a per megawatt basis, and the highest rates were associated with generators in the Appalachian Mountains-Buffalo Mountain, in the state of Tennessee, and Mountaineer, West Virginia.

Hayes said his estimates were conservative for several reasons.

Little information on bat mortality was available for wind generators along the Sierra Nevada ranges and Rocky Mountains, he wrote, and scavenging animals likely carried away a percentage of dead bats before they could be counted.

Hayes also said that if a range of bat deaths were listed by a facility, he used the lowest one for his calculations.

There are 45 known bat species in the continental United States, but biologists do not have a firm handle on their total population. Experts say the animals’ small size and nocturnal habits make them difficult to survey.

Nonetheless, biologists suspect their numbers are decreasing because of changing climate and diseases such as white-nose syndrome.

Even under the best circumstances, bat populations grew slowly, as they give birth to one pup per year, and the mortality rate for young bats was high, Hayes said.

While they are not generally beloved by the American public, bats perform two highly valuable services: they eat enormous amounts of flying insects, and they help pollinate crops like peaches and avocados.

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They Are All Dead, Dave

Lister: Where is everyone Hol?

Holly: They’re dead Dave.

Lister: Who is?

Holly: Everybody Dave.

Lister: What Captain Holister?

Holly: Everybody’s dead Dave.

Lister: What Todd Hunter?

Holly: Everybody’s dead Dave.

Lister: What Selby?

Holly: They’re all dead, everybody’s dead Dave.

Lister: Peterson isn’t, is he?

Holly: Everybody is dead Dave.

Lister: Not Chen?

Holly: Gorden Bennet, yes Chen, everybody, everybody’s dead Dave.

Lister: Rimmer?

Holly: He’s dead Dave, everybody’s dead, everybody is dead Dave.

Lister: Wait, are you trying to tell me everybody’s dead? (Red Dwarf: The End)

I find the great problem with getting older is not so much the realisation of my own mortality but that of everyone else’s. The older I get the more colleagues seem to drop off the perch. Mentors, advisors, friends, teachers, (mother, Lou Reed) who have been there my entire life (or feel like they have) are suddenly gone. Obviously no one lives forever but it still comes as a shock when someone who seems to have been there forever, existing as a guiding light and force for stability, is no more. My incredulity is especially great when I was talking with them at a conference only a few days/weeks/months before. This disbelief seems trite but is no less real for having been expressed many times before.

Dr. F. Bunny

“There’s a bit of magic in everything and then some loss to even things out.” (Lou Reed)

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