Report examines wind energy impact on wildlife

Mexican free-tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis) exit Bracken Cave in Texas. A new report stresses the importance of more research on wind energy impacts on sensitive bat and bird species. ©USFWS

Wind energy is one way to cut greenhouse gas emissions, but it can also impact wildlife. A new report, “Impacts to Wildlife of Wing Energy Sting and Operation in the United States,” published in Issues in Ecology explores the need to need to balance wildlife conservation with cutting greenhouse gas emissions in the face of climate change. The authors delve into what is already known about how wind energy impacts sensitive wildlife as well as where the species live. The report provides insight into how wind turbines affect birds and bats, including migratory tree bats, which may be more at-risk of population-level effects as a result of wind turbines. It also identifies where further research is needed. The authors hope the report can help guide mitigation efforts as the U.S. Department of Energy plans to expand wind production to reduce carbon emissions.

Read the report here.