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Scientists use night vision to help save bats’ lives


High-resolution radar and infrared cameras will improve bat detection, aiding futures studies aiming to reduce bat fatalities at wind farms

High-resolution radar and night vision cameras may help scientists protect bats from untimely deaths at wind farms, according to new research.

Researchers are using these technologies to provide more specific details about the number of bats killed by wind turbines in Iowa. These details will improve scientists’ understanding of bat activity and potentially save their lives, said Jian Teng, a graduate researcher at the University of Iowa who presented the work this week at the 2019 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in San Francisco.

This work has broad impacts, according to Teng. “The more bats you kill, the more insects you have on farms; then, farmers will put more pesticides; and then, people will eat more pesticides,” he said. By having a reliable system for counting bats, researchers will be able to effectively explore whether certain conditions are attracting bats to wind turbines. MORE

Header image: Bats soaring across the sky. Credit: USFWS/Ann Froschauer.

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