Technology and Engineering
  • ISSN: 2333-2581
  • Modern Environmental Science and Engineering

Influence of the Solar Power Plant on the Diversity of Mammals: A Case Study in Northeastern Brazil

Henrique M. Farias1, S. Cavalieri1, D. S. Ruas2, K. S. Tavares2, and H. O. Braga3,4

1. Enel Green Power Brasil, Brazil

2. Department of Natural Sciences, State University of Southwest Bahia, Brazil

3. Department of Biology & CESAM, Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies, University of Aveiro, Portugal

4. CAPES Foundation, Ministry of Education of Brazil, Brazil

Abstract: Despite producing clean and renewable energy, large solar projects can affect wildlife due mainly to habitat loss and land use. Therefore, the goal of this study was to evaluate the influences of the Solar Power Plant Ituverava on the local mastofauna. The study area contained three samples called Zone 1 (Z1) — called Legal Reserve and Green Belt (category IV, IUCN); Zone 2 (Z2) — Control area with native vegetation; and Zone 3 (Z3) — project intervention area. We recorded 991 contacts with medium and large mammals belonging to 37 species and seven mammalian orders. The analyzes do not indicate significant differences in the diversity of mammals between the areas, suggesting that the mastofauna in the region is using different environments, including in the areas of solar panels (Z3). Some species, including two threatened with extinction, had a more significant number of records in Zone 3. Fauna passages projected below the company’s fences associated with the presence of food, refuge, and shelter in solar panels area appear to be establishing new niches now being occupied by some species, including endangered species.

Key words: energy sources, conservation, endangered species, wildlife management, solar power plant, Bahia

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