Another recent threat to bats is a white fungus that has killed six million American bats since it emerged seven years ago.
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Scientists believe that bats are suffering unusually high mortality rates because of wind turbine-related deaths. In a study recently published in BioScience, scientists surveyed the number of dead bats found at 21 wind energy facilities and based on that number ran analysis and extrapolated to estimate how many bats were dying as a result of wind turbine impact in 2012. They estimate the number at around 600,000 bats.
Bats can be killed by a wind turbine in one of two ways. First, they can be killed from impact with the wind turbine blade. A more stealthy killer, however, is the change in air pressure caused by the blades. The number is actually a conservative estimate; up to 50 percent more bats could in fact have been killed by the turbines, a press release obtained by EurekAlert reports.