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What We Do/Bats & Wind Energy

What We Do



BCI's Bats and Wind Energy Program conducts research with regional, continent-wide, and international implications that is designed to address issues and develop solutions involving wind energy and bat-fatalities.

BCI's research focuses on priorities established by the BWEC, including:

Jeremy Bowman of Iberdrola Renewables adjusts an experimental acoustic deterrent device on a wind turbine at the Locust Ridge wind farm in Pennsylvania.
  1. Pre-construction monitoring to assess bat activity and use at proposed wind-turbine sites;

  2. Post-construction fatality surveys to estimate of fatality rates, compare fatality estimates among facilities and determine patterns of fatality in relation to weather and habitat variables;

  3. Operational mitigation and deterrents that test the potential of seasonal low-wind shutdowns and deterring devices for reducing fatalities.

These research efforts have become the standard by which other studies are measured. Federal and state agencies, as well as private companies, seek BCI's guidance on wind-energy issues.

BCI Conservation Biologist Michael Schirmacher installs bat acoustic detectors on top of a wind turbine.


BCI engages in specialized training sessions on studying wind energy impacts on bats. Staff serve as expert instructors at workshops to demonstrate field techniques and data collection and analysis procedures. Our Bat Conservation and Management and Acoustic workshops also highlight wind energy issues and study techniques.


We have published articles on bats and wind energy in our BATS magazine to highlight the issues to our members and keep them informed on our research progress.

2004 - Wind Energy & the Threat to Bats
2005 - Battered by Harsh Winds
2006 - Seeking Solutions for Wind Energy
2007 - Prairie Winds
2009 - Softening the Blow

BCI staff deliver frequent presentations at professional conferences, BCI workshops, special symposiums and industry meetings.

Professional Expertise

BCI staff have provided professional testimony, helped develop guidelines for wind energy and wildlife, served on professional committees and participated as instructors at workshops on wind energy and wildlife.


 Former BCI Director of Programs, Ed Arnett [second from left] delivers testimony on wind energy and bats to Congress.

Former BCI Director of Programs Ed Arnett chaired The Wildlife Society’s technical review committee on wind-energy impacts on wildlife, and helped prepare position statements for TWS, the American Society of Mammalogists, and the North American Society for Bat Research.

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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 December 2012
Unless otherwise noted, all images are copyright ©Merlin D. Tuttle and/or ©Bat Conservation International