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Tell Brazil to Protect Endangered Species

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The Lear's Macaw population has dwindled to just 1,000 individuals, and now, massive wind turbines pose an additional danger to their nesting areas. Take action!


The Lear's macaw, an iconic bird species, faces grave threats in Brazil, particularly in the northeastern region. The construction of a wind farm in this area is causing controversy due to its potential impact on the endangered macaw1. As Brazil seeks to revolutionize its green-energy industry, over 90 percent of which is located in the northeast2, the macaw's habitat and survival are at stake.

The population of Lear's macaws has dwindled to an estimated 1,000 individuals in the wild3. Factors like farming, logging, and habitat destruction have already taken a toll on their numbers. Now, the construction of wind turbines poses an additional threat. These massive turbines, with their 120-meter diameter blades, pose a known danger to birds in flight4. Unfortunately, they are being built in a nesting region for the Lear's macaw, further exacerbating the risks faced by the species.

The Impact on the Macaw Population

Representatives from the Lear's Macaw Gardens Project warn that the wind farm is a "risky" prospect for birds, particularly the Lear's macaw1. They stress that the project could push the macaw closer to extinction, potentially causing irreversible damage. These macaws exclusively live and reproduce in the northeastern region, amplifying the urgency to protect their habitat5.

Recognizing the gravity of the situation, a federal court has halted the final stage of turbine construction, ordering further impact studies and community consultations. The renewable energy company responsible for the wind farm, Voltalia, has appealed the court's decision, claiming that the turbines pose no endangerment to the Lear's macaw6.

The Domino Effect on Other Species

Failure to act promptly to protect the Lear's macaw and its habitat could have dire consequences for other vulnerable species in the region. Deforestation, land degradation, and climate change already pose significant threats to various flora and fauna in Brazil's northeastern region7. The destruction of natural habitats disrupts entire ecosystems, causing cascading effects on biodiversity8. Several species, such as the Pernambuco pygmy-owl9, Pernambuco pygmy-marmoset10, Caatinga antwren11, Matto Grosso titi monkey12, and many others, are at risk of facing a similar fate.

Brazil's Commitment to Green Energy

Brazil prides itself on being a global leader in green energy, with the largest percentage of clean electricity in the G20 group of nations13. However, implementing renewable energy initiatives while balancing environmental conservation is a complex task14. The wind farm in Canudos county exemplifies the challenges faced on the ground1.

Take Action for the Lear's Macaw

Let's join forces and send a strong message to the leaders of Brazil, calling for stronger protections for the beautiful and endangered birds of South America. Sign the petition below to demand that thorough environmental reviews be conducted for wind farm plans in critical habitats. It is imperative that we ensure the long-term survival of these precious species while promoting sustainable clean energy solutions.

More on this issue:

  1. Rafael Martins, Ramon Sahmkow in Brasilia, Agence France-Presse (AFP) (22 May 2023), "Brazil Faces Dilemma: Endangered Macaw Vs. Wind Farm."
  2. Lucas Morais, Renewables Now (22 November 2021), "Brazil tops 20 GW of installed wind capacity."
  3. Beauty of Birds (16 September 2021), "Lear’s Macaws: Status & Conservation."
  4. Manuela De Lucas, Guyonne F. E. Janss, D. P. Whitfield, Miguel Ferrer, Journal of Applied Ecology (21 October 2008), "Collision fatality of raptors in wind farms does not depend on raptor abundance."
  5. American Bird Conservancy (2023), "Lear's Macaw."
  6. Veselina Petrova, Renewables Now (20 April 2023), "Voltalia to appeal permit suspension for 99-MW Brazilian wind project."
  7. Carlos, 10,000 Birds (27 June 2014), "Parrots: Brazil’s Colorful Avian Clowns."
  8. Mike Gaworecki, Mongabay (29 June 2016), "Forest degradation in Brazil can have just as drastic an impact on biodiversity as deforestation."
  9. The Owl Pages, "Pernambuco Pygmy Owl ~ Glaucidium mooreorum."
  10. Monkey Worlds, "Pygmy Marmoset – Cebuella pygmaea."
  11. BirdLife International (2023), "Caatinga Antwren Herpsilochmus sellowi."
  12. Mary Jo DiLonardo, Treehugger (16 September 2022), "Recently Identified Monkey Is One of World’s Most Endangered Primates."
  13. Sustainable Development Solutions Network (8 July 2022), "Brazil is the first G20 country to track the sustainable development of all its cities."
  14. Power Technology (18 July 2019), "Renewable capacity in Brazil to exceed 60GW in 2030 in Brazil, says GlobalData."
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The Petition:

To the President of Brazil,

I am writing to bring to your attention a matter of utmost importance regarding the environmental impact of wind farm development in Brazil, specifically in relation to the conservation of endangered species and their habitats.

I commend Brazil's commitment to green energy and its efforts to expand renewable energy capacity, particularly in the northeastern region. However, it is crucial to ensure that these projects do not come at the expense of our unique and irreplaceable biodiversity.

One specific concern revolves around the construction of wind farms without thorough environmental reviews. Insufficient assessments increase the risk of habitat destruction and pose a severe threat to endangered species, such as the iconic Lear's Macaw (Anodorhynchus leari), which is already on the brink of extinction.

The Lear's Macaw, with an estimated population of only about 1,000 individuals remaining in the wild, relies heavily on the northeastern region for its survival. Unfortunately, the construction of wind turbines in their nesting areas exacerbates the risks faced by these beautiful birds.

Therefore, I kindly request your urgent intervention to ensure that environmental impact assessments are conducted thoroughly and transparently before any wind farm development commences. This includes comprehensive studies of potential risks to endangered species, such as the Lear's Macaw, and their habitats.

Furthermore, it is imperative to involve local communities, conservation organizations, and scientific experts in the assessment process. Their valuable insights and expertise can help identify suitable locations for wind farms that minimize the negative impact on biodiversity.

By implementing stringent environmental review processes, we can strike a balance between the development of clean energy infrastructure and the protection of our precious ecosystems. These reviews should consider factors such as habitat fragmentation, migratory patterns, and the long-term effects on wildlife populations.

I also urge you to allocate adequate resources for the establishment and management of protected areas that safeguard critical habitats. This will not only ensure the survival of endangered species but also contribute to the overall health and resilience of our ecosystems.

As President of the largest country in South America, your leadership and commitment to sustainable development are paramount in addressing these environmental concerns. By prioritizing the protection of our biodiversity and incorporating thorough environmental reviews, Brazil can set an inspiring example for the world in achieving a harmonious coexistence between clean energy and thriving ecosystems.

I humbly request your prompt attention and action on this matter. Together, let us safeguard our natural heritage and ensure a sustainable future for generations to come.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

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Signatures: