HABITATS AND SPECIES
Monitoring flora and fauna
Iberdrola group applies diverse measures to protect or restore areas that might be affected by its facilities in the main countries it operates in.
To protect species and habitats or mitigate the damage caused to them, depending on the needs of each project, Iberdrola monitors the flora and fauna, especially protected or endangered species, undertakes silvicultural management, restores woodland with native species, landscape integration and adaptation, etc.
These actions are performed during the project's entire life cycle, adapting the actions 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, 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:
TECHNOLOGY ACTIONS RESULTS Beauly Denny (substation) Continuation of the recovery work at Beauly Denny, over 200 ha of peatlands in collaboration with different local Stakeholders. The condition of wetlands, coastal pastures and forest and scrubland areas was improved. A carbon sink was attained, water retained and habitats improved. Damhead Creek (combined cycle) The northern crested newt (Triturus cristatus) and the European water vole (Arvicola amphibius) were relocated from an original area of 2.4 ha to another of 2.9 ha. The pastures and lagoons of this new site are evolving satisfactorily and the ponds' consolidation was inspected recently. The condition of wetlands, coastal pastures and forest and scrubland areas was improved. A suitable habitat for the water vole was created. Galloway (hydroelectric) Ongoing monitoring by installing an antenna in the Loch Doon Vaki fishing port. Possible obstacles removed to encourage migration of Atlantic salmon and other species, working with Ayrshire Rivers Trust on Loch Doon and Galloway Fisheries Trust. Barriers to fish passage through the Black Water of Dee studied (using GIS mapping, electrical fishing, habitat monitoring, etc.) Vegetation in the substation's area managed and the invasive species Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japónica) controlled and eliminated. Neighbouring habitats improved. Wind farms The implementation of the Habitat Management Plans continued in adjacent areas, 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). Neighbouring habitats improved.
TECHNOLOGY ACTIONS RESULTS Power lines and substations The identification of favourable habitats (beneath the lines) for the New England cottontail (Sylvilagus transitionalis) continued. Work performed in collaboration with the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Recovery of declining species promoted. A program on 'Integrated Vegetation Management' designed; lighter vehicles used in forest areas, etc. Adjacent habitats improved and associated wildlife protected. Platforms around Milford, Hamden, North Haven, Ansonia, and Fairfield built to encourage osprey to nest to introduce and reproduce the species. Recovery of declining species promoted. Monitoring and treatment continued to eliminate 14 species of invasive plants under the Maine Power Reliability Program (MPRP). Adjacent habitats improved and the proliferation of native species promoted. Monitoring and treatment continued to eliminate invasive plants species under the Maguire Road Substation project (Kennebunk). Adjacent habitats improved and the proliferation of native species promoted. Wind farms Monitoring and maintenance of habitats (pastures, meadows, forests, wetlands, deserts, etc.) within and around the wind farms continued. Adjacent habitats improved and associated wildlife protected.
TECHNOLOGY ACTIONS RESULTS Baguari (hydroelectric) Approximately 28 ha in Resera Legar del Faz recovered. Adjacent habitats improved, the soil's absorption capacity improved and the risk of loss from erosion decreased. Corumbá (hydroelectric) Reforestation with 426,496 seedlings of native species. Dardanelos (hydroelectric) The natural recovery of 5 ha reinforced and reforestation carried out in the area of the station. Power lines Reforestation of degraded areas with seedlings at different stages of growth.
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 milestones are included below:
- During the construction in the last years of two major sites, La Muela II and the extension of San Esteban in Spain, the Environmental Monitoring Program that covers a variety of actions including reforestation of affected areas, the recovery of the old quarry and landfill, monitoring of the loss of habitat and its fauna, and monitoring of birds of prey. The Improvement Plan's biodiversity project has also continued which includes dismantling abandoned structures and buildings and then restoring the area.
- A total of 99 environmental actions rolled out before and during 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.).
- ScottishPower continues with its Biodiversity Action Plans (BAP) in each facility to recover and encourage the regeneration of natural habitats and the fauna and flora characteristic of the facilities' areas. More information available in files that can be downloaded for each BAP from www.spenergywholesale.com.
- ScottishPower Renewables continues with work on restoring habitats included in the Habitat Management Plans implemented at wind farms.
- Avangrid Renewables in 2017 has continued with its habitat restoration, mitigation, and monitoring plans in wind farms including Manzana, Big Horn, Barton Chapel, Barton, Blue Creek with positive results. The restoration of wetland near the Hoosac wind farm continues. At the Blue Creek wind farm, additional plantings were carried out in those areas whose restoration was not satisfactory.
- Hydroelectric power plants with an Iberdrola stake in Brazil have continued their recovery or compensation programs for Permanent Preservation Areas (PPAs) and degraded areas (quarries, landfills) where reforestation is the main measure. In 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.
- Thanks to the efforts of the ambitious project to recover the Estero Garrapatas mangrove forest (see award-winning 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 was given the Environmental Excellence award by PROFEPA.
- At the group's wind farms, land affected by building activities was 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
The group has activities in some areas where endangered species which are included on the red lists published by the IUCN, the UK BAP, and the USFW (1) and other lists such as the List of Endangered Species in Sao Paulo, etc. may have their habitats or may live, without that meaning they are affected or threatened by the activity.
UICN Red List Classification No. species Critically endangered (CR) 41 Endangered (EN) 82 Vulnerable (VU) 162 Near threatened (NT) 49 Least concern (LC) 490
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, etc.
- Endangered: birds such as the Iberian imperial eagle, red kite, black stork, Egyptian vulture, Cantabrian capercaillie, Dupont lark and the squacco heron; bats such as the long-fingered bat, Indiana bat; insects such as the American burying beetle.
- 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.
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. On the land 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.