Batting Down the Bat Takes


Kawailoa wind farm, Oahu.

The effects of climate change are manifesting themselves sooner and more devastatingly than anything predicted even a decade ago, and the mosquitoes that spread the disease to ‘i‘iwi and other endangered and threatened forest birds are encroaching on their habitat at a rapid pace.

When Hawai‘i’s only land mammal, the hoary bat, collides with the whirring blades of a wind turbine, the outcome is not in doubt. It dies.

And with so little known about this cryptic animal, no one can be sure what damage such interactions inflict on the bat populations on the islands where wind farms have sprung up in recent years.

The state’s Endangered Species Recovery Committee met over two days last month to discuss new research aimed at resolving uncertainties surrounding the interactions of bats and blades. A new draft guidance document doesn’t begin to answer all the questions but it’s a good start.

EH-XTRA! EH-XTRA!

Rats Nearly Gone from Lehua Island

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Good news from Lehua!  The state Department of Land and Natural Resources reports that the small island, just off the western coast of Kaua`i, has seen a near-total reduction in the rat population following... READ MORE