Mystery of how wind turbines kill bats solved

Posted by Laura Grant on August 26, 2008
Posted in Renewable energy

The number of bats killed by wind farms is higher than birds, researchers say. But many of these bat casualties show no signs of external injuries caused by the turbine blades, so the cause of their deaths has been a mystery. A Canadian researcher may have found the answer, though. She dissected 75 bats found dead around a wind farm in Calgary and found that they had ruptured blood vessels in their lungs. The pulmonary barotrauma, as it’s officially called, is caused by a drop in air pressure. It was found that wind turbines lower the air pressure as they cut through the air, especially around the tips of the blade. Bats flying within a meter of the blades get caught in the depressurised zone and suffer the lung trauma. Birds’ lungs apparently aren’t affected in the same way because they are more rigid. Now researchers are looking for ways to prevent bat deaths at wind farms.
[Via :: ScienceNow Daily News]

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