Retain a buffer between turbines and habitat features used by bats
Overall effectiveness category No evidence found (no assessment)
Number of studies: 0
Background information and definitions
This intervention involves leaving a minimum distance between wind turbines and bat roosts or habitat features to create a buffer zone. The EUROBAT guidance on bats and wind turbines recommends a minimum distance of 200 m between wind turbines and important bat habitats (Rodrigues et al. 2014). Natural England, UK recommends a minimum distance of 50 m from the turbine blade tip to the nearest bat habitat feature (Mitchell-Jones & Carlin 2012), and for micro turbines a minimum distance of 20 m has been recommended (Minderman et al. 2012). However, reduced bat activity has been recorded up to 1,000 m from wind turbines (Barré et al. 2018). This action may not protect migratory bat species. Bennet & Hale (2018) found high fatalities of migratory bats at wind turbines without bat habitat features nearby (e.g. in open grazed fields).
Barré K., Le Viol I., Bas Y., Julliard R. & Kerbiriou C. (2018) Estimating habitat loss due to wind turbine avoidance by bats: implications for European siting guidance. Biological Conservation, 226, 205–214.
Bennett V.J. & Hale A.M. (2018) Resource availability may not be a useful predictor of migratory bat fatalities or activity at wind turbines. Diversity, 10, 44.
Minderman J., Pendlebury C.J., Pearce-Higgins J.W. & Park K.J. (2012) Experimental evidence for the effect of small wind turbine proximity and operation on bird and bat activity. PLoS ONE, 7, e41177.
Mitchell-Jones T. & Carlin C. (2012) Bats and onshore wind turbines interim guidance. Natural England Technical Information Note TIN051.
Rodrigues L., Bach L., Dubourg-Savage M., Karapandža B., Kovač D., Kervyn T., Dekker J., Kepel A., Bach P., Collins J., Harbusch C., Park K., Micevski B. & Minderman J. (2015) Guidelines for Consideration of Bats in Wind Farm Projects - Revision 2014. EUROBATS Publication Series No. 6 (English version). UNEP/EUROBATS Secretariat, Bonn, Germany.