01 Mar 2011 Bats forage over the sea; implications for off-shore wind farms?
A recent research paper from Sweden has confirmed that resident and migratory species of bats will fly off-shore to forage where there is a plentiful food supply. Of particular note, bats were recorded investigating an off-shore wind farm and even resting on turbines. Although the research is specific to the Swedish coast it does raise questions about whether similar behaviour is being exhibited elsewhere off the coast line of northern Europe. This research, linked to data relating to migration of Nathusius Pipistrelle bat between the UK and northern continental Europe, raises questions as to whether large off-shore wind farms should assess potential impacts on bats.
Ahlén, I; Baagoe, HJ; and Bach, L (2009) Behavior of Scandinavian bats during migration and foraging at sea J. Mammalogy 90 (6):1318-1323
Ahlén, I; Bach, L; Baagøe, HJ; and Pettersson, J. (2007) Bats and offshore wind turbines studied in southern Scandinavia – Report 5571 Swedish Environmental Protection Agency