Kristin A. Jonasson, Amanda M. Adams, Alyson F. Brokaw, Michael D. Whitby, M. Teague O'Mara, Winifred F. Frick

A multisensory approach to understanding bat responses to wind energy developments

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Abstract Millions of bats are killed at wind energy facilities worldwide, yet the behavioural mechanisms underlying why bats are vulnerable to wind turbines remain unclear. Anthropogenic stimuli that alter perceptions of the environment, known as sensory pollution, could create ecological traps and cause bat mortality at wind farms. We review the sensory abilities of bats to evaluate potential stimuli associated with wind farms and examine the role of spatial scale on the perceptual mechanisms of sensory pollutants associated with wind energy facilities. Audition, vision, somatosensation and olfaction are sensory modalities that bats use to perceive their environment, including wind farms and turbine structures, but they will not all be useful at the same spatial scales. Bats most likely use vision to perceive wind farms on the landscape, and obstruction lighting may be the first sensory cue to attract bats to wind farms from kilometres away. Research that assesses the risks posed by specific sensory pollutants, when conducted at the appropriate scale, can help identify solutions to reduce bat mortality, such as determining the attractiveness of obstruction lighting to bats at a landscape scale.

Need a simple solution for managing your BibTeX entries? Explore CiteDrive!

  • Web-based, modern reference management
  • Collaborate and share with fellow researchers
  • Integration with Overleaf
  • Comprehensive BibTeX/BibLaTeX support
  • Save articles and websites directly from your browser
  • Search for new articles from a database of tens of millions of references
Try out CiteDrive

More from our Archive