Wind Farms Could Drive Bats to Extinction
by Jim Wiegand
The USFWS September 20, 2019 "Incidental Take" decisions allow windfarms to operate in Hawaii with no recent valid research about the State’s population of Hawaiian Hoary bat, a critically endangered species. Existing research shows USFWS doesn’t have a clue how many bats exist and or even if this species can survive their approved wind energy mortality.
Read these astounding facts associated with their decision to allow 424 endangered bats in Hawaii to be killed by wind energy. The following are quotes from the Environmental Assessment for Kawailoa Wind Power Facility Habitat Conservation Plan, October, 2011 and the Kawailoa Wind Power Draft Habitat Conservation Plan Amendment, September, 2018:
“The Hawaiian subspecies of the hoary bat has been recorded on Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Maui, Lanai, Hawaii, and Kahoolawe, but no historical population estimates exist for this subspecies.”
“No breeding bats have been recorded on Oahu and based on published literature, the bats found on Oahu are thought to be migrant or vagrant (USFWS 1998) though bat activity data at Kawailoa Wind Power suggests that some bats may reside on Oahu (see Section 126.96.36.199).”
“Since no accurate population estimates exist for this subspecies and because historical information regarding its past distribution is scant, the decline of the bat has been largely inferred.”
“No recent population estimates exist for Hawaiian hoary bat, though previous estimates have ranged from several hundreds to several thousands (Tomich 1969; Menard 2001).”
These last numbers from 1969 and 2001 came long before modern wind energy invaded Hawaii.
Based upon the wind industry's long history of fraudulent research, these 424 bats will likely end up being thousands. This decision could mean extinction for this species.