November 11, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Wind turbines killed over 600,000 bats last year in the United States. That’s according to BioScience, which made the projection based on the startling number of dead bats found at 21 facilities. The number could be even higher, nearly a million bat deaths, according to the author, Mark Hayes at the University of Colorado.
Unlike birds, which are killed when they actually strike the blades of wind turbines, bats can also die from changes in air pressure caused by the blades that cause their lungs to explode.
Bats catch insects and play an important role in the ecosystem. Wtihout them, farmers would have to use far more pesticides, enviornmentalists note.
Bats also help to pollinate certain crops, notably avocados – one of San Diego County’s biggest cash crops.