Bats vs. Blades: A Quixotic Struggle

Endangered Hawaiian hoary bat. Credit: Forest and Kim Starr
Endangered Hawaiian hoary bat. Credit: Forest and Kim Starr

Despite the laudable result of boosting renewable energy production, the proliferation of wind farms in Hawai‘i — and the resulting spike in estimated deaths of the Hawaiian hoary bat — is something some are beginning to view with concern, if not outright hostility.

Lacking even the most basic information about the bats, government officials tasked with protecting the animals are struggling to assist the state’s various wind farms in their efforts to maintain compliance with laws aimed at protecting rare species.

As our cover story this month illustrates, efforts so far to protect the state’s bat population have been based on best guesses — on the animals’ needs, their habits, their range …

A major research push in the works may help fill many critical knowledge gaps, but it will be years before it yields results.

Also in this issue, we continue our coverage of the contested case hearings on the Thirty Meter Telescope and the interim instream flow standards of two dozen East Maui streams and review marine mammal expert Robin Baird’s new book.


New EIS To Be Prepared for Longline Fishery

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The National Marine Fisheries Service has announced its intention to prepare an environmental impact statement for the Hawai`i- and American Samoa-based deep-set longline tuna fishery and will be holding a series of public... READ MORE

Excerpts from Questioning Of Witnesses for the TMT

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  On Gravitational Waves and GPS  On October 27, Brannon Kamahana Kealoha cross-examined Günter Hasinger, director of the University of Hawai`i’s Institute for Astronomy, for nearly two hours, covering a vast range of... READ MORE

2 New T-Shirt Designs!

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In concert with our August 21 fundraiser in Hilo, Environment Hawai`i is releasing two new cotton jersey t-shirt designs featuring photos taken by our staff. You can purchase them at our event in a few... READ MORE

‘Worst-Case Scenario’ Plays Out

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‘Worst-Case Scenario’ Plays Out: In April, we reported that fishing industry experts speculated the Hawai`i longline fleet might reach its annual catch quota for bigeye tuna in the Western and Central Pacific as... READ MORE