NatureScot Commissioned Report 1008 - A survey of high risk bat species across southern Scotland
Bat fatalities have been observed at wind farms, raising concerns about the impact of wind turbines on bat populations. It is thus important to identify key areas for bats in order to guide future wind farm development.
Not enough is known about three high-risk bat species found in southern Scotland to inform conservation efforts. This study set out to collect baseline data for all bat species in the region and conduct focused analyses for the three target species: Leisler’s bat, noctule and Nathusius’ pipistrelle.
The aims of the study were to:
- identify ‘hotspots’ for the target species, so as advise on future wind energy development
- discuss the significance of the three species at wind farms in relation to the survey findings
- produce revised population estimates for the three target species
- identify any noteworthy local bat species assemblages (any species)
This report reveals that significant spatial overlap occurs between wind farms and the three high-risk bat species. There is little overlap in the ranges of the three species, however. Thus any efforts to reduce risks posed by wind farms at a local scale will most likely benefit only a single species at a time.
It’s also likely that Scotland’s populations of Leisler’s bat and noctule are far greater than previously believed – in the thousands rather than hundreds.
Publication 2017 - NatureScot Commissioned Report 1008 - A survey of high risk bat species across southern Scotland
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