Natureza & Conservação Natureza & Conservação
Nat Con 2014;12:106-11 DOI: 10.1016/j.ncon.2014.08.005
Research Letters
Blown in the wind: bats and wind farms in Brazil
Enrico Bernarda,, , Adriana Paeseb, Ricardo Bomfim Machadoc, Ludmilla Moura de Souza Aguiarc
a Laboratório de Ciência Aplicada à Conservação da Biodiversidade, Departamento de Zoologia, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco – UFPE, Recife, PE, Brazil
b Instituto Amigos da Reserva da Biosfera da Mata Atlântica, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
c Departamento de Zoologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade de Brasília – UnB, Brasília, DF, Brazil
Received 29 January 2014, Accepted 15 August 2014
Abstract

The number of wind turbines in operation in Brazil will triple in five years, raising concern for the conservation of Brazilian bats. We analyzed the status of bat species richness and occurrence in areas with high wind potential in Brazil. By crossing datasets on species records and wind potential we identified 21 hotspots and 226 data gap areas. Overall, 70% of the areas with the highest wind potential are data gaps, lacking elementary information about species presence. Current Environment Impact Assessments system for wind farms in Brazil has relaxed regulations and questionable effectiveness. Environmental agencies should require de facto Environment Impact Assessments in data gap areas, with technical rigor proportional to the investment under course. At least for bats, the Brazilian wind power sector must raise the bar, adopting a more rigorous licensing. Alliances to minimize bat mortality at wind farms are necessary and this goal should be pursued in Brazil.

Keywords
Chiroptera, Clean energy, Environmental Impact Assessment, Renewable energy, Wind energy, Wildlife interaction