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Noisy Flashing Drone Could Stop Bats Crashing into Wind Turbines

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Caution, Bat Crossing.

Unlike similar deterrent devices mounted on stationary poles or the wind turbines themselves, the drone’s movements and light-and-sound show are unpredictable.

Credit: Getty Images

Yuval Werber and colleagues at Israel's University of Haifa invented a drone that makes noise and flashes lights to prevent bats from colliding with turbine blades at wind farms.

In a 2020 test in Israel’s Hula Valley, the drone, which features lights and speakers that emit high-frequency chirps, proved effective in warding off bats.

Said Werber, "We wanted [the drone's movements and cacophony] to be as random as possible and as dynamic as possible to avoid habituation, where animals just get used to it."

The researchers combined radar and LiDAR to monitor the number of flying objects that were about as big as bats.

Bat activity declined by roughly 40% below the drone's flight altitude and increased 50% above the drone over a three-week period.

From New Scientist
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