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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Evaluating the effectiveness of an ultrasonic acoustic deterrent for reducing bat fatalities at wind turbines

Published source details

Arnett E.B., Hein C.D., Schirmacher M.R., Huso M.M.P. & Szewczak J.M. (2013) Evaluating the effectiveness of an ultrasonic acoustic deterrent for reducing bat fatalities at wind turbines. PLoS ONE, 8, e65794


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Deter bats from turbines using ultrasound Bat Conservation

A randomized, replicated, controlled study in 2009–2010, with a before-and-after trial in the second year, at a wind farm in a forested area of Pennsylvania, USA (Arnett et al. 2013) found that an ultrasonic deterrent had mixed effects on bat mortality. In 2009, 21–51% fewer bats were killed per deterrent turbine (average 6 bats killed/turbine) than control turbine (average 9 bats killed/turbine). In the 2010 before-and-after trial, between 2% more and 64% fewer bats were killed at deterrent turbines than at control turbines when accounting for differences found between control and deterrent turbines in the ‘before’ trial. Six bat species were identified during carcass searches (see original paper for data for individual species). In 2009 and 2010, 10 randomly selected wind turbines were fitted with deterrent devices, and 15 randomly selected turbines without the device were used as controls. The deterrent emitted continuous ultrasonic broadband noise at 20–100 kHz, with a range of 5–10 m. In 2009, daily carcass searches were conducted in August–October. In 2010, the before-and-after trial was conducted with daily carcass searches in May–July before the deterrent was used, followed by daily searches in July–October with the deterrent active.

(Summarised by Anna Berthinussen)