Posted on November 9, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Close observation of bat behavior around wind turbines may help reduce bat deaths.
Study results may aid bat conservation
FRISCO — Scientists say they may be a step closer to being able to reduce widespread bat mortality associated with the development of wind energy.
Based on months of nighttime video surveillance, U.S. Geological Society researchers say some species of the flying mammals may be mistaking the wind turbines for trees. The tree-roosting bats may be confusing the turbines for trees, according to USGS scientist Paul Cryan.
“If we can understand why bats approach wind turbines, we may be able to turn them away,” Cryan said. “Advances in technology helped us overcome the difficulties of watching small bats flying in the dark around the 40-story heights of wind turbines. The new behaviors we saw are useful clues in the quest to know how bats perceive wind turbines and why they approach them.” Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, wildlife | Tagged: bats, energy, Environment, USGS, wildlife, wind turbine bat deaths, wind turbines | 2 Comments »
Posted on October 26, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Reports from the public can help inform monitoring, response
FRISCO — Marking the start of National Bat Week (Oct. 26-Nov.1), Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials said they’ll be carefully monitoring bat hibernation sites this winter for the effects of White-nose Syndrome, a deadly fungal disease that has killed between 5.7 and 6.7 million hibernating bats in caves and inactive mines in the eastern U.S.
“Bats are an important yet under-appreciated part of our world,” said CPW Species Conservation Coordinator Tina Jackson. “This threat is something we all should be worried about,” she added. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, Environment, white-nose syndrome | Tagged: bats, biodiversity, Colorado, Environment, white-nose syndrome | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 28, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Monitoring to help inform conservation plan
RISCO — The National Park Service hopes to protect bat populations in Great Smoky Mountains National Park with a winter closure to limit human disturbance to bat hibernacula and help hikers avoid interactions with bats.
The Whiteoak Sink area will be closed through March 31 while park biologists monitor the site throughout the winter to cllect population, ecological and behavioral data. The information will be used to develop a long-term protection plan. An extended closure through late spring may be recommended if the winter data suggests such an action would increase the chances for survival of a significant number of bats. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, white-nose syndrome | Tagged: bats, biodiversity, Environment, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, white-nose syndrome | Leave a comment »
Posted on January 30, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
White-nose syndrome may be nearly impossible to eradicate from caves.
New study traces biological evolution of bat-killing fungus
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — A new study by University of Akron scientists forecasts a gloomy future for North American bats, showing that the fungus that causes the deadly white-nose syndrome can likely survive in caves with or without the presence of bats.
The persistence of the fungus threatens regional extinction of some bat species, according to the new study published in PLOS One. White-nose syndrome has killed almost 7 million bats and appears to be relentlessly spreading across the country.
“The ability of the fungus to grow in caves absent of bats would mean that future attempts to reintroduce bats to caves would be doomed to failure,” said University of Akron associate biology professor Hazel Barton. Continue reading
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Posted on November 16, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Wind turbines killed at least 600,00o bats in 2012.
CU-Boulder researcher says wind farms are “key threat” to bat populations
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — By the latest conservative estimate, at least 600,000 bats were killed by energy producing wind turbines in 2012, with the highest fatality rates in areas near the Appalachian Mountains.
Little information is available on bat deaths at wind turbine facilities in the Rocky Mountain West or the Sierra Nevada, according to Mark Hayes, a University of Colorado, Boulder researcher who authored a new study, set to be published in the journal BioScience.
“The development and expansion of wind energy facilities is a key threat to bat populations in North America,” Hayes said. “Dead bats are being found underneath wind turbines across North America. The estimate of bat fatalities is probably conservative.” Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, energy, Environment, renewable energy | Tagged: bats, biodiversity, energy, wildlife, wind turbine bat deaths, wind turbines | 4 Comments »
Posted on October 26, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
‘All in all the news for hibernating bats in the U.S. is pretty grim’
A little brown bat with white-nose syndrome. Photo courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — The deadly fungus that has killed millions of bats across the U.S. is a tough, opportunistic organism that can eat almost anything and survive in a wide range of conditions.
There seems to very little that might stop the Geomyces destructans from spreading further and persisting indefinitely in bat caves, according to University of Illinois scientists who recently studied the basic biology of the fungus responsible for white-nose syndrome. Continue reading
Filed under: bats, biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, white-nose syndrome | Tagged: bats, biodiversity, Environment, Geomyces destructans, white-nose syndrome | 1 Comment »
Posted on June 28, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Re-opening caves could lead to spread of deadly white-nose syndrome
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — The U.S. Forest Service this week denied an appeal of a new cave-access policy for the Rocky Mountain region, clearing the way for the re-opening of some caves that have been under a blanket closure the past three years to try and prevent the spread of bat-killing white-nose syndrome.
The fungal pathogen was probably introduced to caves in the Northeast by humans and quickly spread to kill more than 7 million bats as far west as Missouri and Oklahoma. Bats are unsung members of the country’s ecosystems, providing valuable insect-control and pollination services. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, Colorado, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: bats, Center for Biological Diversity, U.S. Forest Service, white-nose syndrome | 1 Comment »