Home > Lifestyle > EnviroHealth > News Updated 12 November 2013 Wind turbines are killing bats More than 600 000 of the mammals may have died in 2012 in the United States. 0 iStock Related Wind farm potential overestimated 'Carbon farming' to address climate change Greenhouse gas altering ocean food chain Start A Health24 blog » Follow Health24 on Facebook » Test Are you envirohealth savvy? » Ask EnviroHealth Expert » Blood Lions: Bred for the Bullet movie trailer The amazing mountains on Pluto A new estimate of bat deaths caused by wind turbines concludes that more than 600 000 of the mammals likely died this way in 2012 in the contiguous United States. The estimate, published in an article in BioScience, used sophisticated statistical techniques to infer the probable number of bat deaths at wind energy facilities from the number of dead bats found at 21 locations, correcting for the installed power capacity of the facilities.Bats, although not widely loved, play an important role in the ecosystem as insect-eaters, and also pollinate some plants. They are killed at wind turbines not only by collisions with moving turbine blades, but also by the trauma resulting from sudden changes in air pressure that occur near a fast-moving blade. The article by Mark Hayes of the University of Colorado notes that 600 000 is a conservative estimate; the actual figure could be 50% higher. The estimate is in rough agreement with some previous estimates, but bigger than most. The data that Hayes analysed also suggest that some areas of the country might experience much higher bat fatality rates at wind energy facilities than others: the Appalachian Mountains have the highest estimated fatality rates in Hayes's analysis.The consequences of deaths at wind energy facilities for bat populations are hard to assess because there are no high quality estimates of the population sizes of most North American bat species. But Hayes notes that bat populations are already under stress because of climate change and disease, in particular white-nose syndrome. The new estimate is therefore worrisome, especially as bat populations grow only very slowly, with most species producing only one young per year. EurekAlert More in Lifestyle Qwaqwa residents battling severe water shortages More: EnviroHealthNews advertisement Read Health24’s Comments Policy Comment on this story 0 comments Comments have been closed for this article. Logout Comment 0 characters remaining Share on Facebook Loading comments... Other news Parenting Rise in teen suicide attempts in Canada not copycat behaviour News No queues, no fuss, bringing healthcare to your door Medical SEE: 12 Things you didn't know about the brain Medical Healthy living reduces everyone's risk of colon cancer Medical Why type 2 diabetics should take a walk after dinner Lifestyle 5 summer essentials to add to your child’s school bag From our sponsors Keep an eye on your vision Which skin products are better, ‘medical grade’ or ‘over-the-counter’? Win 1 of 6 R5000 cash prizes Win Skin Renewal voucher Live healthier Exercise benefits for seniors » Working out in the concrete jungle Even a little exercise may help prevent dementia Here’s an unexpected way to boost your memory: running Seniors who exercise recover more quickly from injury or illness When sedentary older adults got into an exercise routine, it curbed their risk of suffering a disabling injury or illness and helped them recover if anything did happen to them. No relief for MS » Drug shows promise against MS in mouse study Vitamin D may slow multiple sclerosis Obesity in girls tied to higher MS risk Exercise may not lower women's risk of MS A Harvard study showed no evidence to support the idea that exercise lowers the risk of multiple sclerosis.