November 29, 2012
Contact:Rick Amidon 612-713-5164
Georgia Parham 812-334-4261 x 1203
Endangered Indiana Bat Found Dead at Ohio Wind Facility; Steps Underway to Reduce Future Mortalities
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife have confirmed that an endangered Indiana bat was found dead at the Blue Creek Wind Farm near Van Wert, Ohio.
Blue Creek Wind Farm, LLC, a subsidiary of Iberdrola Renewables, LLC notified the Service and ODNR that a bat carcass was found at the facility and was preliminarily identified as an endangered Indiana bat. The bat carcass was located during post-construction monitoring that has occurred since April 2012 as part of the company’s evaluation of the facility's effects on birds and bats. The bat was confirmed by the Service to be a female Indiana bat. This mortality is the fifth known mortality of an Indiana bat at a wind facility, to date. Other mortalities of Indiana bats have been documented at wind energy facilities in Indiana, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Indiana bats are found in the eastern United States. Ohio has breeding, migrating and wintering populations of Indiana bats. First listed as federally endangered in 1967 and state-endangered in Ohio in 1974, Indiana bat populations continue to be threatened by human disturbance of hibernation sites, loss of summer habitat, and most recently, the bat disease known as white-nose syndrome.
Blue Creek Wind Farm, LLC voluntarily agreed to raise the cut-in speed of turbines at night during the remainder of the fall migration period to reduce the likelihood that any additional mortality of Indiana bats would occur at the facility. The Service and ODNR are continuing to review the incident and work with Blue Creek Wind Farm, LLC on future operation of the wind facility. The company has stated that it will seek an incidental take permit under the Endangered Species Act and any state permit or agreement that will address avoidance, minimization and mitigation measures.
ODNR supports the development of green energy within Ohio, but emphasizes the importance of minimizing potential impacts to wildlife resources. ODNR has developed pre- and post-construction monitoring requirements for wind energy facilities sited in Ohio to evaluate these potential impacts. For more information, visit: http://www.fws.gov/windenergy and http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/Home/wild_resourcessubhomepage/ResearchandSurveys/WildlifeWind/tabid/21467/Default.aspx.
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