Endangered And Threatened Bat Species
North American bats cope with many problematic issues. White-nose Syndrome (WNS) has killed over 6 million hibernating bats since it arrived in New York in 2006. Wind energy continues to develop as an alternative energy source. North American bats face many challenges. White-nose Syndrome (WNS) has killed at least 6 million hibernating bats since it arrived in New York in 2006.
Wind energy continues to develop as an alternative energy source throughout the U.S. and the world. Bats are being found dead underneath wind turbines across the globe. Most wind facilities in the U.S. and Canada now document bat fatalities which estimate that tens to hundreds of thousands die at wind turbines in North America each year. This latest and unforeseen problem has moved to the head of conservation and management efforts directed toward this poorly understood issue regarding bats, mainly due to the simultaneous effects of white-nose syndrome.
Why bats die at industrial wind turbines persists unexplained. Is it an uncomplicated case of bats flying in the wrong place at the wrong time? Do the whirling turbine blades entice bats? Why are so many bats striking wind turbines compared to their sporadic collisions with other tall, human-made structures? Are there ways to foresee and reduce danger to bats before turbine construction?
Climate change is changing weather patterns and environments, decreasing the accessibility of water supplies for bats, especially in the dry Southwest. Environment change and disintegration can endanger roosting and foraging sites for some species. And human disruption remains a problem for bats in exposed and unprotected caves and mines.
- Florida bonneted bat (Eumops floridanus)
- Gray bat (Myotis grisescens)
- Hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus semotus)
- Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis)
- Lesser long-nosed bat (Leptonycteris yerbabuenae)
- Mexican long-nosed bat (Leptonycteris nivalis)
- Townsend’s big-eared bat (Corynorhinus townsendii ingens)
- Northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis)*
Bats play a crucial ecological role as the principal predators of night-flying insects. Also, bats have an essential financial part. Research shows that bats deliver between $3.7 and $52 billion in ecological service advantages to US farmers and ranchers by decreasing the costs of pesticides. If we keep losing bats from white-nose syndrome, wind facility fatalities, and other causes, there will be an economic effect.
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