Understanding the Environmental and Local Factors Behind Bat Mortalities in a Wind Farm in Turkey

Maha Salameh

Wind farms are frequently built in regions with high wind currents without properly addressing their impact on bats. The growing documentation of bat mortality at wind energy facilities indicates a potentially severe threat (Johnson et al., 2004). In Turkey, there is a lack of scientific research on bat mortality at wind farms. However, one of the largest wind farms in the country is located in Kırklareli, an area known for its high bat biodiversity (KAB Ecology report, 2019). This project will be the first to employ acoustic data to evaluate the conditions that affect bats in wind farms in Turkey. The primary objectives of my project are:

i) to address the gaps in our understanding of bat species populations in wind farms in Turkey

ii) expand our knowledge of bat attraction to wind turbines

iii) develop an effective mitigation strategy to prevent bat mortality. An integral aspect of this project involves evaluating the institutional structure and current environmental laws in Turkey in relation to conservation concerns about bats, especially with the expansion of Wind Energy. In addition, I aim to raise public awareness about the positive impact of bats on the environment and economy, with a particular focus on educating, and involving community members with a sense of responsibility for bat conservation. Annual reports from KAB Ecology (a private local environmental impact assessment company) indicate that several bat species have high mortality rates in Wind Farms across Turkey. There is also limited information available regarding the ecological and acoustic characteristics of bat populations around wind farms.

To address this issue, my project will be the first to assess the effects of wind farms on bat populations using acoustic data in Turkey, which will contribute valuable insights for updating Turkey's bat conservation plan of action. I will also run a comprehensive program that encompasses various elements, including education and awareness campaigns, to raise bat conservation and awareness by highlighting the significant negative impact that human population growth has on bats.

To make the project outcomes accessible to a broader audience, I plan to translate the conservation strategy and project results into multiple languages (Arabic, English, French, and Turkish) and publish them on my personal website. Additionally, I will submit the results of this project for publication in peer-reviewed journals to ensure its credibility and facilitate its potential impact on future conservation efforts.

Project Updates