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Research makes skies safer for bats


The German word for bat is Fledermaus, which translates literally to “flutter mouse.” But while some bats do look like mice fluttering on leathery wings, bats are more closely related to humans than rodents. And, as NREL reported last year, bats are amazing. Whether they are providing pest control by hunting mosquitos, pollinating flowers by drinking nectar, or dispersing seeds by eating fruit, bats are vital to the health of our planet.

Yet these beneficial mammals face many threats, including the wind turbines that occupy their airspace. Tree-roosting species like the hoary bat, eastern red bat, and silver-haired bat account for the most activity around wind turbines, and endangered species like the Hawaiian hoary bat and Indiana myotis are at risk as well. Complicating matters, bats seem to be attracted to wind turbines. MORE

Header image: Through research collaborations, NREL is working to minimise wind energy impacts on wildlife like the hoary bat, pictured above. Credit: Kathleen Smith, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

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