Wind farm vs. Endangered Macaw: Brazil’s Difficult Dilemma

An endangered Lear’s Macaw (Anodorhynchus leari) flies over a reserve close to the Canodos Organic Station, close to the Canodos Wind Energy Advanced in Canodos, Bahia state, Brazil, on Might 5, 2023.

A wind farm in northeastern Brazil seems like a welcome inexperienced power resolution, however it’s sparking controversy over one other kind of environmental concern: the impression on the endangered Lear’s macaw.

House to greater than 90 p.c of Brazil’s thriving wind energy trade, the Northeast is understood for the robust, regular winds that President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva needs to harness to energy the inexperienced power revolution.

The realm has attracted the curiosity of French renewable power firm Voltalia, which final yr started building of a 28-turbine, 100-megawatt wind farm within the semi-arid province of Canudos within the state of Bahia.

However the undertaking quickly got here beneath assault when it emerged that massive generators, with their blades 120 meters (practically 400 ft) in diameter—a recognized risk to birds in flight—have been being inbuilt a nesting space for the Lear’s Parrot, the brilliant blue parrot often known as the indigo macaw, or by its identify. Scientific Anodorhynchus leari.

Named after the Nineteenth-century English poet Edward Lear, the birds have dwindled to not more than 2,000 within the wild, as agriculture and logging have vastly decreased their habitat.

The wind farm is “very dangerous,” stated Marilyn Reese of the Layers Macaw Gardens Mission, a company making an attempt to avoid wasting the species.

The Canudos Wind Vitality advanced is certainly one of a number of wind initiatives in northeastern Brazil, the place power and conservation necessities can battle.

“This might considerably improve the danger of extinction,” she informed AFP.

And the injury could possibly be “irreparable, particularly for these well-known parrots, which solely stay and breed on this space.”

A federal courtroom halted the ultimate section of building on the generators in April, revoking Voltalia’s permits.

The courtroom dominated that it “couldn’t be thought of a undertaking with low environmental impression”, given its proximity to endangered chicken species, and ordered additional impression research and consultations with native communities.

Voltalia appealed the choice.

“The potential environmental and social impacts have already been comprehensively handled,” Nicholas Theofries, nation director for Voltalia in Brazil, informed AFP.

He stated impression research required by state authorities confirmed the generators “under no circumstances threaten the conservation” of the Lear Parrot.

A Lear's macaw (Anodorhynchus leari) was electrocuted after it crashed into an electricity grid near Canudos Wind Energy Compl in Brazil.

A Leari’s macaw (Anodorhynchus leari) has been electrocuted after it crashed into an electrical energy grid close to the Canudos Wind Vitality advanced in Brazil.

“They demonstrated the environmental viability of the undertaking.”

The corporate has proposed lowering the danger by portray the generators to make them extra seen to birds, in addition to offering the parrots with GPS trackers and putting in expertise that instantly stops the blades from spinning when they’re in flight.

Progress identify

Brazil is a world chief in inexperienced power.

It has the most important share of unpolluted electrical energy within the group of G20 nations, at 89 p.c.

Lula, who took workplace in January, has vowed to broaden that additional.

Mines and Vitality Minister Alexandre Silvera stated just lately that Lula needs to show Brazil’s impoverished northeast into “the world’s largest renewable power breadbasket.”

Silvera has introduced plans to put in as much as 30 gigawatts of unpolluted manufacturing capability within the Northeast, primarily wind and solar energy.

  • A truck transports parts of a wind turbine on its way to the Canudos Wind Energy complex in Canudos, Bahia state, Brazil, in May

    A truck transports elements of a wind turbine on its approach to the Canudos Wind Vitality advanced in Canudos, Bahia state, Brazil, on Might 6, 2023.

  • Brazilian goat farmer Adelson Matos says building a wind farm nearby has attracted car traffic at all times, and it has changed

    Brazilian goat farmer Adelson Matos says constructing a wind farm close by drew automotive visitors always, altering rain and wind patterns with its large buildings.

The full funding may attain 120 billion riyals ($24 billion).

However Voltalia affords a case examine of the sort of opposition initiatives which may happen on the bottom.

Along with the McCaw Lear protest, the corporate is going through resistance from small farmers and ranchers, about 7,500 of whom stay within the space across the wind farm.

“The impression might be felt throughout the board,” stated Adelson Matos, 65, a white-bearded farmer who tends goats, sheep, cows, chickens and fruit within the close by village of Alto Redondo.

Mattos complained that the wind farm is noisy, attracts automotive visitors in any respect hours, and has altered rain and wind patterns with its large buildings.

“It breaks all concord with the pure setting,” he informed AFP.

“It’s all within the identify of progress,” he stated bitterly.

© 2023 AFP

the quote: Brazil Faces a Dilemma: Endangered Macaws vs. Wind Farm (2023, Might 23) Retrieved Might 23, 2023 from

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