Bats are dying from the bends
When I was hunting for jobs this spring, a search with “animal” in the subject field returned a listing for a position as a Field Biologist. One of the requirements was familiarity with native California birds. Thinking I could use my ornithological bent for more than a hobby, I was intrigued…until I read on: the position included monitoring, identifying and tracking all wildlife found injured and killed beneath wind turbines. My heart dropped.
Bats, a flying animal near and dear to me, are at greater risk of death by wind turbine than birds. Despite the large number of bat carcasses found near turbines, the recovered bat bodies have no external injuries or visible cause of death (in contrast to birds which are killed by direct contact with the blades). Bats adequately detect and avoid contact with turbines using sonar, but are dying from an unknown secondary impact of flying near windmills.