Endangered Hawaiian Hoary Bat
An endangered Hawaiian hoary bat, a species that is sometimes killed by wind turbines. USGS scientists from Hawaii and Colorado are devising a way to directly observe bat occurrence and behavior at wind turbines using a video system composed of high-powered illuminators and near-infrared cameras. This new approach images the full rotor-swept areas of wind turbines for entire nights and long durations, and then uses advanced image-processing software to automatically find flying bats and birds in the copious amounts of recorded footage. This a significant step in developing a feasible method to enhance our understanding of how wind turbines affect bats and nocturnal migratory birds, with the ultimate goal of finding new ways for wind-energy development to continue expanding while reducing the harmful effects of this renewable energy source on wildlife.