Activity Pattern and Correlation between Bat and Insect Abundance at Wind Turbines in South Sweden
Swedish Biodiversity Centre (CBM), Department of Urban and Rural Development, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 7012, 75007 Uppsala, Sweden
Calluna AB, Linköpings Slott, 582 28 Linköping, Sweden
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 7084, 750 07 Uppsala, Sweden
Kalmar County Administration, Regeringsgatan 1, 39231 Kalmar, Sweden
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Cris Hein and Amanda Hale
Received: 30 September 2021
Revised: 8 November 2021
Accepted: 12 November 2021
Published: 15 November 2021
Wind power is an important energy system in the global transition towards renewable energy. As new wind farms are erected in increasing numbers, they will have an impact on many organisms, e.g., through habitat changes and collision mortalities. In this study, we measure bat activity, insect abundance, and weather conditions to test the hypothesis that insect abundance attracts bats to wind turbines because of feeding opportunities. We found that the relationship between insect abundance and bat activity was relatively weak, providing some support for the feeding-attraction hypothesis. However, we also found a strong correlation between bat passes and weather conditions. This suggests that stop-regulation based on weather conditions might be a solution to avoid collisions. However, this study highlights some of the problems with defining the limits for stop-regulation, as bat activity may be high also at relatively high wind speeds and low temperatures.