Biodiversity and Ecological Conservation
At Iberdrola Australia we believe that environmental conservation is about much more than climate change. As we decarbonise the electricity system we introduce new wind and solar generation into regional Australia. This can have impacts on the precious ecosystems that define our unique country.
At our sites, we aim to have a positive impact on the natural environment. We share Iberdrola's global commitment to being "nature positive" by 2030 and we aim to conserve, if not enhance, the natural ecosystems at our operating sites.
We have a broad commitment to partnering, collaboration and knowledge sharing, particularly in these critical initiatives.
Case Study: "Bring Back the Glossy Black"
In 2023, Iberdrola Australia delivered a programme to Bring Back the Glossy Black Cockatoo (and Gang Gang Cockatoo) to an area north-east of Canberra, near Bungendore, in the vicinity of our Capital and Woodlawn wind farms.
It is estimated that ~40% of the species range perished in the 2019-2020 bushfires.
Iberdrola's programme of works included:
(1) planting over 1000 Allocasuarina Littoralis trees (a preferred food source for the Cockatoos);
(2) installing 30 state-of-the-art nesting boxes specifically designed by Habitech to meet the needs of the target species; and
(3) installed a small dam, serving the dual purpose of providing a water source for the target species and minimising risks of erosion for the newly planted trees.
Glossy Black Cockatoo
- Eat only Casuarina or Allocasuarina cones
- Lay one egg in a large hollow 3-30m off the ground
- Require access to water when incubating eggs and brooding chicks
- Listed as vulnerable to extinction under the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016
Gang Gang Cockatoo
- Found only in the sputh east corner of NSW and VIC where the most severe impact of the 2019-20 bushfires occurred.
- Monogamous birds that use a small hollow to raise chicks
- Listed as Vulnerable to Extinction under the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016
Case Study: Enhancing Bird and Bat life at Burrendong Arboretum
Step 1: Biodiversity Field Survey (2020)
The Burrendong Arboretum is located 50 minutes drive south west of Bodangora, and is 167 hectares of land that was established in 1964 as a reserve for native trees. Since that time it has attracted many forms of native wildlife, including birds and bats.
We were particularly interested in the habitat it provides for birds. The Arboretum is in the same region as Bodangora windfarm, but far enough but far enough away to provide physical distancing for birdlife. It therefore makes an ideal breeding habitat. One of the key features of a landscape for many local bird and bat species is hollow logs, as these provide ideal nesting and breeding habitat. The Iberdrola Australia staff assisted some ecologists from Habitech to count the available tree hollows in the Arboretum.
In addition to nesting habitat, the group was identified bird and bat species, and in particular for any of the 10 species identified as being of special significance to the Bodangora windfarm, either because they are rare or in some cases because of their significance to the local Wiradjuri people. The 10 species consist of six birds and four bats, namely:
- (1) Wedge-tailed Eagle;
- (2) Superb Parrot;
- (3) Australian King Parrot;
- (4) Brown Treecreeper;
- (5) Little Lorikeet;
- (6) Grey-crowned Babbler;
- (7) Southern Forest Bat;
- (8) Yellow-bellied Sheathtail bat;
- (9) Gould's Wattled Bat;
- (10) White-striped Freetail Bat.
Ultimately, over 60 species of birds were identified, along with various bats and frogs. The findings of the field survey were used to inform the design of our next phase of the project.
Step 2: Nesting Box installation (2022)
In April 2022, Iberdrola Australia, and representatives from ecological innovation group, Habitech, used the findings of the field survey to design enhancements to a zone of land at the arboretum to improve its attractiveness to target species. This included:
- 25 nesting boxes targeting the Brown Tree Creeper;
- 10 nesting boxes for the Yellow Bellied Sheathtail Bat;
- 1 nesting platform targeting the Wedge Tailed Eagle; and
- enhanced the ecological environment to create a feeding zone targeting the Grey Crowned Babbler.
The work was completed by a combination of Iberdrola staff, Habitech employees, and representatives from several of our green energy customers.