Impacts of Wind Energy Facilities on Bat Populations
I teamed up with Dr. Ron Larkin’s lab in the Department of Animal Biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to conduct research on the impact of alternative renewable energy sources on bat and bird migration. We used weather surveillance radar doppler (WSR-88D) and thermal imaging cameras to follow bats through wind turbine facilities at night. I studied wing beat patterns to distinguish targets (separate insects from birds from bats), edited track files, measured migratory flux, and casualties.
Monitoring Bat Population Health
Through Mississippi Bat Working Group, I monitored bats across the state. We mist netted bats, processed them using the national protocol, aged and sexed individuals, examined wings for damage using the “Wing-Damage Index”. We also did acoustic monitoring and checked caves to monitor populations for signs of white-nose syndrome (WNS). We primarily worked with Lasiurus seminolus, L. borealis, Nycticeius humeralis, and Myotis austroriparius.