BWEC conducts local, regional, and global research required to develop practical solutions to monitor and minimize the impact of wind energy development on bats.
Currently, BWEC focuses on three main areas of research:
Post-construction fatality surveys determine estimates of fatality, compare fatality
estimates among facilities, and determine patterns of fatality in relation to weather and habitat variables.
Operational minimization and deterrence evaluating the effectiveness of existing and novel minimization approaches to practicably reduce bat mortality at wind energy facilities.
Acoustic monitoring allows BWEC researchers to detect and record calls of echolocating bats that can be used to assess relative activity and identify species or groups of species. Understanding bat activity levels prior to construction of wind facilities will assist in identifying habitats and features that may pose high risk of fatality and aid with decision-making, including specific placement of turbines.
BWEC scientists have conducted intensive studies to assess whether pre-construction monitoring for bat presence and activity levels can predict post-construction fatality. We are currently involved with several studies at sites in south-central Pennsylvania, California, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin that include multiple years of pre-construction bat activity monitoring and at least 2 years of post-construction fatality surveys.
Determine level and patterns of activity of different species groups of bats using proposed wind facilities prior to construction of turbines.
- Correlate bat activity with weather and other environmental variables
- Combine results from multiple sites to determine if indices of pre-construction bat activity can be used to predict post-construction bat fatalities at proposed wind facilities.
- Develop methods and metrics for assessing wind energy impacts and develop standard protocols for pre-construction studies.