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North MSP asks Government what action they are taking to protect bats

26th September 2016

Photograph of North MSP asks Government what action they are taking to protect bats

A 2013 study in the Wildlife Society Bulletin estimated that wind turbines inadvertently kill many bats a year across the UK alone.

Conservationists believe bats ,which are a protected species, are dying while hunting insects that are attracted by the heat generated by turbine blades. They have suggested that even if the bats avoid the turbines, the change in pressure created by the spinning blades is capable of bursting their lungs. This condition is called barotrauma.

Having been contacted by a constituent who raised this issue, David Stewart MSP, tabled a Parliamentary Question asking the Scottish Government what action they were taking to prevent the large number of bat deaths in Scotland caused by the condition known as barotrauma?

David Stewart speaking about this issue said " When I was first approached about this matter, I was unaware that a lot of bat deaths were being caused by the condition barotrauma. I, like many assumed that wildlife, mainly birds and bats, were being killed by the spinning wind turbine blades, but barotrauma causes the bats lungs to pop due to the speed at which they turn. Some blade tips apparently can spin at 200 miles per hour."

"There are bats with no broken bones or other evidence of blunt trauma, that have pulmonary and middle ear haemorrhages which implies that they had suffered barotrauma. Considering that bats are a protected species and this issue having been raised with me, prompted me to ask the Government what action they were taking to address this matter."

David Stewart concluded " A simple fix may well be the fixing of ultrasonic boom boxes to windfarms. Bats use echolocation to navigate, so if boom boxes were affixed to windfarms this may well repel the bats from coming too close."

Scotland has nine species of bat, the most common of which is the pipistrelle, which is just 2in long.

Report on Bat Deaths at -


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