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Wind Energy Project Threatens Endangered Bird

Global Brief

Wind Energy Project Threatens Endangered Bird

A renewable-energy project in the Brazilian state of Bahia is threatening the Lear’s Macaw, a large, blue-feathered parrot with bright yellow rings around its eyes which, according to American Bird Conservancy, has been brought back from extinction in the past but is still considered endangered, with approximately 1,300 adults in existence.

French-based Voltalia is currently building two wind farms that are expected to produce 99.4 megawatts of power in Bahia. The 28 wind-turbine towers that have already been erected over shrub-land and thorn forests are located in the daily flight path of the Lear’s Macaw, between where they roost and feed. It is believed that the birds are fatally crashing into the turbines, and that the risk of collision increases at night, even though the turbines have been painted to be more visible.

Ecologists point out that the towers could be moved 100 kilometers away from the Lear’s Macaw habitat to preserve their population while generating the same amount of renewable power. Although construction continues, a Brazilian judge has ordered an environmental impact assessment that considers the welfare of these colorful parrots. Around the world, wind energy projects grew by 9 percent in 2022, according to the latest report from the Global Wind Energy Council, with China, the U.S., Brazil, Germany and Sweden leading with new installations.

Photo credit: tane-mahuta from Getty Images/Canva Pro

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