Offshore and coastline migration of radio-tagged Nathusius' pipistrelles

Petra Bach, Christian C. Voigt, Matthias Göttsche, Lothar Bach, Vera Brust, Reinhold Hill, Ommo Hüppop, Sander Lagerveld, Heiko Schmaljohann, Antje Seebens-Hoyer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The wind energy-bat conflict is well documented for the onshore sector, with high numbers of casualties, specifically for migratory bat species. Offshore wind turbines might be a threat to bats as well, yet offshore bat migration is poorly documented. Accordingly, potential conflicts between bat conservation and offshore wind energy production are difficult to evaluate. Here, we used automated radio-telemetry to track 50 km continuous offshore movements of two Nathusius' pipistrelles (Pipistrellus nathusii) within the Motus network. After crossing the marine waterbody, tagged bats traveled over several hundred kilometers along the coastline from Germany towards the Netherlands and Belgium. Our study highlights the possibility for migratory bats to collide with offshore and coastal wind turbines. Therefore, we plead for implementing pre- and post-construction surveys and adequate mitigation schemes at offshore wind turbines in sensitive areas of the North and Baltic Sea if not already practised.

Original languageEnglish
JournalConservation Science and Practice
Volume4
Issue number10
Early online date19 Aug 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022

Keywords

  • bat fatalities
  • conservation
  • migration
  • offshore wind power
  • wind energy-wildlife conflict

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