Thursday, 2 August 2012

Small wind turbines 'halve' bat number

A boom in the use of small wind turbines could be halving bat numbers in areas where they are put up, new research has suggested.
The Stirling University study recommended micro turbines should not be sited within 20 metres of the animals' habitats.
Research at 20 such sites across the UK recorded a fall in bat activity of up to 54%.
Micro turbines are installed mainly for domestic and farmland use.
Schemes which pay people for creating green electricity are said to have helped fuel a rise in their popularity.
The Stirling research, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, involved halting micro turbine movement at the 20 sites and examining the effect on the activity of birds and two species of bat, the common and soprano pipistrelle.
While bird activity was not significantly affected, turbines did reduce bat numbers, it concluded.

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