The preservation of local biodiversity in and around its wind farms has been one of Cabeolica’s main environmental objectives.
Due to the critical state of certain species as a result of anthropogenic impacts and excessive predation, Cabeolica has paid a high degree of attention to the preservation of the local biodiversity living in and around our wind farms, including various bird species.
Since the design phase of its wind farms, Cabeolica has been aware of important bird nesting areas located near the Boa Vista wind farm.
Over the past decade, birds in these areas have seen their numbers drop dramatically due to poor reproduction and strong predation by humans and feral cats.
Therefore, the company has been making efforts not only to prevent any possible harmful impacts resulting from its activities on birds, but also to take important initiatives to halt the decline of populations.
Cabeolica has financed BIOS.CV projects with the aim of improving the reproductive success of the Boa Vista winch population, having implanted several artificial nesting platforms along the coast, where in the previous years, there was a low reproductive success. .
This action called “Projeto Guincho” was awarded as the best conservation program for endangered species in West Africa 2015 by the Regional Program for Marine and Coastal Conservation 2015.
During the project phase, governmental organizations for Nature and Conservation in Cape Verde, namely the National Institute for Agricultural Research and Development (INIDA) and the Directorate-General for the Environment, in addition to NGOs such as Natura 2000, were involved in supporting the assessment of the risk of intensive bird collision carried out by the company.
This evaluation was later used by Cabeolica in the micrositing of the Boa Vista wind farm in order to guarantee the lowest possible risk for local bird species, mainly Guincho and Rabo de Junco, during the operation phase.
We had the great pleasure of verifying the result that these efforts of Cabeolica have, while the studies carried out have managed important data referring to the behavior of the local avifauna, which are now available to the scientific community and to the public in general.
Cabeolica also frequently requests studies carried out by experts, as part of the bird’s mitigation and conservation plan, which results in annual reports on the behavior of birds, composed of detailed monitoring carried out with various species of endangered Cape Verdean birds.
These reports are distributed every year to relevant stakeholders, such as the Directorate-General for the Environment and NGOs working on bird conservation, in order to stimulate potential collaborations that can generate positive results for the country’s global avifauna diversity.
In 2014, Cabeolica asked an independent company to carry out post-construction modeling of the collision risks from vulnerable bird species in order to certify that these risks remain low, according to the models completed in the past.
The collision risk analysis is part of the continuous assessment, which serves to help the company to assess the risks of potential impacts, and thus modify the mitigation and conservation strategies, according to the indications of the potential impact risks.
This exercise concluded, as in previous models, that the risks of collision of vulnerable bird species with wind turbines are extremely low.
Cape Verdean Tarentola, found on the island of São Vicente and nowhere else in the world, was until recently classified as Data Deficient (DD) on the IUCN Red List – meaning that information about this gecko was insufficient to decide its conservation category.
Since 2009, Cabeolica has been collaborating with specialized biologists from the Research Center for Biodiversity and Genetic Resources (CIBIO), in Portugal, funding studies on the behavior and diversity of the population, in order to increase knowledge about this very rare and important species.
As a result of this effort to preserve this species, in 2011 the substitute Cape Verdean Tarentola saw its status changed from the IUCN Red List from “subspecies” to “species” and from “poor data conservation status” to “little concern for conservation”.
Today, the replacement Cape Verdean Tarentola can be found in a healthy population, living perfectly with the Cabeolica turbines in the São Vicente wind farm.