Home > Lifestyle > Environmental Health > 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 Need motivation? Joel Stransky stood on the podium at the Cape Epic, a year after being in ICU 2018-04-12 10:30 More: Environmental HealthNews 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 Fitness 6 sports to take up in winter so you stay active, get fitter and build more muscle Lifestyle Why guys are spending thousands of rands a year to produce more semen Fitness ‘I finally learnt how to skip at the age of 36 – this is how you can do it too’ Lifestyle What exactly are ‘dense breasts’? Sex Can you masturbate too much? Medical What is the deadly Nipah virus? From our sponsors Win a R1 500 hamper with Alpecin Hypertension Consumer Fact Sheet Understanding diabetes self-management WIN a R2000 Skin Renewal voucher! Live healthier Mental health & your work » How open are you about mental illness in the workplace? Mental health in the workplace – what you can do to help If you know that one of your colleagues suffers from a mental illness, would you be able to help them at work? Maligay Govender offers some helpful mental health "first aid" tips. Sleep & You » Sleep vs. no sleep Diagnosis of insomnia 6 things that are sabotaging your sleep Kick these shut-eye killers to the kerb and make your whole life better – overnight.