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 NEXT ON HEALTH24X This is the best type of alcohol to drink if you’re trying to lose weight 2017-12-15 12:00 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 News 10 freak accidents that killed people Diet and nutrition 5 healthier ‘adult’ ice lollies to eat if you’re watching your weight Medical Health dept on alert: This is why 800 000 homes are being fumigated News QUIZ: What would you do in these 7 emergencies? Medical TB levels rising in Northern Cape Diet and nutrition 4 signs you’re not getting enough protein From our sponsors Discover treatments that can help reduce acne What can I do to reduce or remove acne marks? Dementia and Incontinence: what you need to know WIN a R2000 Skin Renewal online store voucher! Live healthier Watch out! » Gross fungal infections you can pick up at the gym You go to gym to exercise. But make sure the only thing you pick up is a dumbbell and not one of these gross fungal infections. Holiday health » Your 10-step asthma holiday checklist Don’t let asthma ruin your summer holiday. Whether you are travelling or embracing the summer at home, make sure you plan ahead.