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Bat Population Study Before Turbine Project
Researchers are studying the population of bats in the Shirley Basin ahead of a wind project to provide energy to a million homes. Zoologists Doug Keinath and Ian Abernethy are collecting bats to determine the species of bats living in the area. The goal of researchers with the Natural Diversity Database is to document where the three species of Wyoming bats live in the hope of preventing deaths. Bats avoid the moving turbines but scientists say the change in barometric pressure near them kills bats by bursting capillaries in their lungs in a phenomenon known as barotrauma. Construction of the 1,000 wind turbine Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project near Rawlins could begin next year.