Credits: File/REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Wind turbines killed more than 600,000 bats in the U.S. in 2012, a new report says.
The article's author, Mark Hayes of the University of Colorado, said that estimate is a conservative one, and it could be closer to 900,000.
Hayes used data from 21 wind turbine locations to calculate the estimate.
Bats play an important role in the ecosystem because they eat insects and pollinate some plants.
Hayes said they are killed by the moving turbine blades, and by the trauma resulting from sudden changes in air pressure that occur near a fast-moving blade.
He said bats are already under stress because of climate change and disease.
The article was published in BioScience, the journal of the American Institute of Biological Sciences.