HABITATS AND SPECIES

Monitoring flora and fauna

Iberdrola group applies several measures to protect or restore areas that might be affected by its facilities in the main countries it operates in.

Iberdrola carries out monitoring of flora and fauna, depending on the needs of each project, especially of protected or vulnerable species, silvicultural treatments, forest restoration with native species, integration and landscaping, etc. depending on the needs of each project with the objective of protecting species and habitats or mitigating the damage caused to them.

These activities are performed throughout the project's entire life cycle, tailoring the actions according to the construction, operation and dismantling phases.

BIODIVERSITY IN COMPENSATED HABITATS

Before building new facilities, environmental impact studies are carried out which collect information on the location's characteristics and how they might be affected, and then later the necessary countervailing measures are implemented as identified in the environmental studies. By compensating areas, the aim is to improve the state of conservation of the biodiversity of species and habitats in areas affected by the presence of group facilities. Actions to improve biodiversity are also carried out, as described in the biodiversity reports and in the environmental dimension in the Sustainability Report [PDF].

Some of the habitats being compensated are listed below, most of which are from projects that have been under way for several years and that have continued actively in 2018:

  • United Kingdom

    TECHNOLOGY ACTIONS RESULTS
    North Wales Wind Farms Connection Project 13,231 m2 of wood and scrub planting, and 8,970 m2 of scrub planting is planned. A total area of around 7,993 m2 will be left for natural regeneration. This sowing will be monitoried for 5 years. North Wales Wildlife Trust has been chosen to carry out over £100,000 of environmental improvements in the vicinity of North Wales Wind Farms Connection.
    Wind farms The continuation of the Habitat Management Plans managing more than 93 km2 to date, monitoring species like the hen harrier (Circus cyaneus), black grouse (Tetrao tetrix) and the northern crested newt (Triturus cristatus). Compensated habitats improved. Management example serving as a guide for other projects.

     

  • United States

    TECHNOLOGY ACTIONS RESULTS
    Power lines and substations The CCTP project resulted in the conversion of 0.26 acres of forested wetland to bush and the loss of 0.096 acres of wetland for the substation. To mitigate these effects, 0.8 acres of improvement to forested wetland, 0.16 acres of improvement to 160 linear feet and improvement to 1.23 acres of high ground. 2.19 acres of mitigation area preservation. These improvements were completed towards the end of 2018, and consisted mainly of plantings. The necessary annual reports documenting the success of improvements are required for 5 years.
    A wetland of 12.6 acres was created on a 36 acre plot to compensate for the elimination of parts of the forested wetland. General mitigation index for the clearance of forested wetlands in NY, 1:1.5. The recently created wetland contains pond areas, bush habitats and tree plantations. The necessary annual reports documenting the success of improvements are required for 5 years.
    Areas disturbed in the RARP transmission line project will be restored and planted. Additional mitigation for this project will include the conversion of areas of forested wetlands. Mitigation work will be carried out in 2019.
    Wind farms Continuation of monitoring and maintenance of habitats (pastures, meadows, forests, wetlands, deserts, etc.) within and around the wind farms. Adjacent habitats improved and associated wildlife protected.

     

  • Brazil

    TECHNOLOGY ACTIONS RESULTS
    Baguari (hydroelectric) 1.77 km2 of forestry recovery activities begun in September 2018. Adjacent habitats improved, the soil's absorption capacity improved and the risk of loss from erosion decreased.
    Corumbá (hydroelectric) With the reforestation of 295,000 trees in 2018 the total since commencement comes to around 1,300,000 trees. A significant improvement in soil quality has been observed, as well as in the physical and chemical structure, an increase in the rain water absorption capacity and a reduction in the erosion of compacted soil layers.
    Dardanelos (hydroelectric) Enhancement of the natural recovery of 5 ha and reforestation carried out in the area of the plant. Adjacent habitats improved, the soil's absorption capacity improved and the risk of loss from erosion decreased.
    Baixo Iguaçu (hydroelectric) 192.1 ha will be reforested which will connect the wooded areas of the Iguazú National Park (PNI) with the areas to be taken over and reforested in the Area of Direct Influence (AID) of the UHEBaixo Iguaçu, comprising the biodiversity corridor. The creation of an ecological corridor to interconnect existing remaining forest in the Area of Influence of the undertaking to the Iguaçu National Park (PNI) in conjunction with the actions described in the Consolidation Programme for the Biodiversity Corridor of the Baixo Iguaçu plant.
    Power lines Reforestation of degraded areas with seedlings at different stages of growth. Compensatory reforestation is taking place, with species native to the region in keeping with environmental licences for the installation and operation of transmission lines (69 kV to 138 kV), substations (69 kV to 138 kV) and distribution grids (13.8 kV to 34.5 kV). In 2018, 70,000 plants were replanted of the 168,000 that have been planted since 2017. Natural regeneration is under constant development due to maintenance works in connection with the presence of sections of native vegetation on the banks of the Aguapeí River - factors that encourage the repopulation of a large number of native species.

     

  • Mexico

    TECHNOLOGY ACTIONS RESULTS
    CCC Project Topolobampo II 39 ha compensation area. Activities of rescue and placing of wild flora species in order to retain their functions in the ecosystem and avoid soil deterioration. Rescue activities for wild fauna paying special attention to those in any protected category to avoid harm to individual fauna present by relocation to allow them to continue with their natural activities. Of the 12,120 specimens relocated, 4,600 come from seeds or cuttings in own nurseries, and 154 from plantations.
    96.3% survival rate. 150 specimens of wild fauna rescued and relocated.
    CCC Project Topolobampo III 35.1 ha of compensation area, rescue and relocation activities of wild flora. Preventive flushing out and rescue of fauna. 21,060 trees planted and 77 specimens relocated, 42 from own nursery seeds and cuttings and 5 from plantations. 100% survival rate. 87 specimens of wild fauna rescued and relocated.
    El Carmen Project 35.4 ha of compensation area, and wild flora rescue and relocation activities. Preventive flushing out and rescue of fauna. 22,990 trees planted and 51 complete specimens relocated with a survival rate of 90%. 87 specimens of wild fauna rescued and relocated.
    Escobedo Project 36.4 ha of compensation area, wild flora rescue and relocation activities in order to retain their functions in the ecosystem and avoid soil deterioration. 1,433 specimens relocated with a survival rate of 90%. 244 wild fauna specimens rescued and relocated.

     

PROTECTED OR RESTORED HABITATS

Iberdrola carries out a variety of actions to protect or restore the different habitats that surround or are affected by the group's facilities. These are generic actions that have continued actively in 2018 which are also included in the action plans. Some of the most important are included below:

  • Spain

    • During the construction in the last years of two major sites, La Muela II and the extension of San Esteban in Spain, an Environmental Monitoring Programme that covers a variety of actions including reforestation of affected areas, the recovery of the old quarry and tip, monitoring of the loss of habitat and its fauna, and monitoring of birds of prey etc. has been implemented. The Improvement Plan biodiversity project has also continued which includes dismantling abandoned structures and buildings and then restoring the area.
    • The carrying out of a total of 132 environmental actions before and during the construction of substations and power lines (restoration and preparation of land, protection of vegetation, bird life and landscape, control of invasive species, training on forest fires and dumping, etc.).
    • The execution of pollution prevention activities, environmental improvements, and recovery/restoration of nature around power plants, e.g. preparation of ecological water flow, environmental adaptation of channels, and environmental recovery around the settlement of La Rasa (dismantling of buildings and recovery of terrain), with the aim of diminishing the impact on biodiversity and ecosystems.
    • Carrying out of an assessment of the ecological status of the Majaceite River in the area of the Arcos de la Frontera Combined Cycle Plant, using biological, hydromorphological and physico-chemical quality indicators, in order to learn about the surroundings and take appropriate action regarding the habitat.
    • Carrying out of pollution prevention activities for environmental improvement and recovery/restoration of nature at the Lada Plant: measures to minimise external noise, channelling of rain water, investigation into polluted ground to prevent contamination and restore the environment.
    • Further information at https://www.iberdrola.com/sustainability/environment/iberdrola-biodiversity/action-plans
  • United Kingdom

    • During the roll-out of the project, SPR considers all the ecological sensitivities which are later incorporated into the Environmental Impact Assessment. This allows SPR to compensate for or mitigate any impact arising from the construction and operation of a site, and frequently provides additional improvements. This requires SPR to work alongside legal bodies such as SNH, RSPB and the Forestry Commission to ensure that the mitigation complies with national biodiversity targets and follows best practices. In addition, SPR continues to develop innovative techniques to aid in the implementation of the Habitat Management Plans (HMPs), and works hand-in-hand with regulators and interested parties, such as Scottish National Heritage, the Forestry Commission and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).
    • In 2018 SPR has continued its monitoring work on birds and habitats in 23 wind farms, and with HMP management (planting, maintenance, etc.) in connection with 17 of its wind farms.
    • ScottishPower Renewables continues with work on restoring habitats included in the Habitat Management Plans implemented at wind farms.
    • Management of vegetation around the substation and control and elimination of the invasive Japanese Knotweed, with the aim of improving adjacent habitats.
    • Further information at https://www.iberdrola.com/sustainability/environment/iberdrola-biodiversity/action-plans
  • United States

    • In 2018, Avangrid Renewables continued carrying out mitigation, habitat restoration and monitoring plans at wind farms like Klondike III & IIIa, Leaning Juniper IIa & IIb, Pebble Springs, Hay Canyon, and Tule I, with good results. The restoration of wetland near the Hardscrabble wind farm continues. In total they carried out 20 mitigation and monitoring measures on 843 acres.
    • Two water-treatment catchments, in conjunction with the owners of the land, for run-off from impervious zones of the catchment area before it joins the flow, with the objective of improving water quality and the habitat in the water and on the bank.
    • Joint financial collaboration to obtain wetlands with the organisation Ducks Unlimited, as part of the Auburn Transmission Project, in order to improve the aquatic habitat and encourage species.
    • Further information at https://www.iberdrola.com/sustainability/environment/iberdrola-biodiversity/action-plans
  • Brazil

    • Hydroelectric power plants with an Iberdrola stake in Brazil have continued their recovery and compensation programs for Permanent Preservation Areas (PPAs) and degraded areas (quarries, tips) where reforestation is the main measure. At all the facilities, different environmental programs are carried out every year to conserve biodiversity depending on the impact resulting from operation of the facility: fauna monitoring (fish, snakes, birds, mammals, insects, etc.), monitoring flora in reforested areas, water quality control, monitoring erosion, etc.

    Further information at https://www.iberdrola.com/sustainability/environment/iberdrola-biodiversity/action-plans

  • Mexico

    • Thanks to the efforts of the ambitious project to recover the Estero Garrapatas mangrove forest (see video) with the cooperation of the Autonomous University of Tamaulipas and the port authorities of Altamira, and the feline support project in the Altamira region, Iberdrola Mexico has been presented with the Environmental Excellence award by PROFEPA.

    Further information at https://www.iberdrola.com/sustainability/environment/iberdrola-biodiversity/action-plans

  • Other countries

    • At the group's wind farms, land affected by building activities has been recovered when necessary, with new plantings and forest treatments undertaken as well as other measures.

     

SPECIES INCLUDED ON THE IUCN'S RED LIST AND ON NATIONAL LISTS AFFECTED BY FACILITIES

  • UICN Red List

    The group has activities in some areas where endangered species on the red lists published by the UK BAP, and the USFW (1) and other national lists such as the List of Endangered Species in Sao Paulo, etc. may have their habitats or may be found, without that necessarily meaning they are affected or threatened by the activity.

    UICN Red List Classification  No. species
    Critically endangered (CR) 18
    Endangered (EN) 74
    Vulnerable (VU) 173
    Near threatened (NT) 48
    Least concern (LC) 247
    Not in the UICN Red List 32

    (1) 'International Union for the Conservation of Nature' (www.uicn.es), UK BAP 'UK Biodiversity Action Plan' (www.ukbap.org.uk/newprioritylist.aspx), USFW 'US Fish & Wildlife Services' (www.fws.gov).

  • Each country's specific lists

    The species that appear as not assessed by the IUCN appear as threatened on each country's specific list. Some of the species are:

    • In critical danger: birds such as the California Condor, Eskimo curlew, Lear's macaw, channel-billed toucan; mammals such as the Iberian lynx, woolly spider monkeys, brown titi; fish such as the European eel, Austrolebias carvalhoi, etc.
    • Endangered: birds such as the Iberian imperial eagle, red kite, black stork, Egyptian vulture, Cantabrian capercaillieExternal link, opens in new window., Dupont lark and the squacco heron; bats such as the long-fingered bat, Indiana bat; insects such as the American burying beetle, fish like the Piabanha and Crumatã.
    • Vulnerable: birds such as Bonelli's eagle, osprey, Montagu's harrier, red-tailed amazon, neotropical bellbird; bats such as Geoffrey's bat, Mehely's horseshoe bat, the greater mouse-eared bat, common bent-wing bat and the common noctule; insects such as backswimmers, the hairy canary fly and river jelly lichen, fish like Lambaríes and Guarús.

    On the properties of the generation centres in the United Kingdom, a total of 28 birds included on the UK BAP — half of the 56 species on the priority list — have been recorded as over-wintering or raising young. Also living on the properties are nine species of mammals, seven fish species, five reptile species, two amphibians, eight species of butterflies and moths, another four species of invertebrates, a species of lichen and seven plants on the UK BAP list.