Final progress report of a 12 month pre - construction bat monitoring study for the Proposed Waaihoek Wind Energy Facility near Utrecht, KwaZulu-Natal

Report

Title: Final progress report of a 12 month pre - construction bat monitoring study for the Proposed Waaihoek Wind Energy Facility near Utrecht, KwaZulu-Natal
Authors: Kruger, C.
Publication Date:
August 28, 2015
Document Number: Ref: R - 1508 - 27
Pages: 108
Receptor:

Document Access

Website: External Link
Attachment: Access File
(6 MB)

Citation

Kruger, C. (2015). Final progress report of a 12 month pre - construction bat monitoring study for the Proposed Waaihoek Wind Energy Facility near Utrecht, KwaZulu-Natal. Report by Animalia Zoological and Ecological Consultation. pp 108.
Abstract: 

The site is evaluated by comparing the amount of surface rock (possible roosting space), topography (influencing surface rock in most cases), vegetation (possible roosting spaces and foraging sites), climate (can influence insect numbers and availability of fruit), and presence of surface water (influences insects and acts as a source of drinking water) to identify bat species that may be impacted by wind turbines. These comparisons are done chiefly by studying the geographic literature of each site, available satellite imagery and observations during site visits. Species probability of occurrence based on the above mentioned factors are estimated for the site and the surrounding larger area.

 

General bat diversity, abundance and activity are determined by the use of a bat detector. A bat detector is a device capable of detecting and recording the ultrasonic echolocation calls of bats which may then be analysed with the use of computer software. A real time expansion type bat detector records bat echolocation in its true ultrasonic state which is then effectively slowed down 10 times during data analysis. Thus the bat calls become audible to the human ear, but still retains all of the harmonics and characteristics of the call from which bat species with characteristic echolocation calls can be identified. Although this type of bat detection equipment is advanced technology, it is not necessarily possible to identify all bat species by just their echolocation calls. Recordings may be affected by the weather conditions (i.e. humidity) and openness of the terrain (bats may adjust call frequencies). The range of detecting a bat is also dependent on the volume of the bat call. Nevertheless it is a very accurate method of recording bat activity.

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