The Economic Threat of White-Nose & Wind Farms to U.S. Agriculture
Recent analyses suggests that loss of bats in North America due to White-nose Syndrome and wind farms could lead to an estimated loss of more than $3.7 billion USD a year to U.S. agriculture.
The estimated number of cave dwelling bats already killed by White-nose syndrome since it appeared in 2006 is in excess of 1 million. With some species, such as the little brown bat facing possible extinction. Assuming that these bats consume 4 to 8 grams (.14 to .28 ounces) of incests a night, these 1 millions bats would have consumed between 660 and 1320 metric tons (727 and 1455 tons) of insects each year.
Back on the surface, tree dwelling species are having major issues with wind farms. By the year 2020 it is estimated that in Mid-Atlantic Highlands region alone between 33,000 to 111,000 bats will be killed annually.
With all these insect machines out of the picture, farmers will have to increasingly rely on pesticides to do the job. Besides costing billions of dollars, these pesticides are harmful to the environment and lead to other unforeseen side effects such as the development of resistances by the insects.
Analysis: WNS Could Cost U.S. Agriculture Billions [NSS WNS Page]
Photo by rarebeasts