EAST ALTON — The National Great Rivers Research and Education Center is continuing its weekly seminar series with a presentation on wind turbines and bat mortality, given by center Field Technician Rachael Van Essen at 3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 19.
As with each seminar in the series, the presentation at the Jerry F. Costello Confluence Field Station in East Alton is free and open to the public.
Individual bat mortality due to wind turbines is a growing conservation concern, but its impact on bat populations is difficult to estimate. Wind facilities in Midwest agricultural fields can kill an estimated 4.45-7.14 bats per turbine, per year.
“We used ecological niche modeling and isotope analysis to estimate geographic origins (extents) of bats killed at the wind facility,” Van Essen said. “Basically, we wanted to know whether the bats that were killed came from a large or narrow portion of their summer range.”
The research showed one wind facility can affect bat populations from across their summer range. If other facilities show this pattern, they could have a cumulative and far-reaching effect.
For more information, visit www.ngrrec.org.