Ultrasonic Acoustic Deterrents Significantly Reduce Bat Fatalities at Wind Turbines

Sara Weaver, Cris Hein, Thomas Simpson, Jonah Evans, Ivan Castro-Arellano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus Citations

Abstract

Wind turbines are known to cause bat fatalities worldwide. Ultrasonic acoustic deterrents are a potential solution to reduce impacts on bats, but few experimental field studies have been conducted at utility scale wind energy facilities. Our objective was to assess effectiveness of a recently developed deterrent for reducing bat fatalities at wind turbines in southern Texas, USA. We quantified fatalities at control (deterrents off) and treatment (deterrents on) wind turbines from 31 July through 30 October in 2017 and 2018, and assessed deterrent effectiveness using generalized linear mixed models. Our results indicate deterrents significantly reduced bat fatalities for Lasiurus cinereus and Tadarida brasiliensis by 78% and 54%, respectively. We observed no significant reduction in fatalities for other species in the genus Lasiurius. Thus, deterrents represent a potential impact reduction strategy for some bat species, but research is still warranted to improve species-specific effectiveness.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere01099
Number of pages10
JournalGlobal Ecology and Conservation
Volume24
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Authors

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-75468

Keywords

  • Bat fatality
  • Echolocation
  • Impact reduction
  • Ultrasonic acoustic deterrent
  • Wind energy

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