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About the case study

The Endesabats project has been developed voluntarily since 2013 in Enel´s hydropower plants throughout the autonomous communities of Catalonia, Galicia, Andalucía and Aragón. It monitors bat populations inhabiting the galleries of hydroelectric power plants and infrastructures.

This project seeks to improve the knowledge, and conservation, of cave bats and their relationship with hydroelectric power plants. It also wants to highlight the importance of these infrastructures for the threatened chiroptera species (e.g Myotis capaccinii). Hydroelectric plants can provide shelter for bats throughout their life cycle (breeding, mating and hibernation).

The project monitoring has been realised in collaboration with experts from the Biodiversity and Animal Conservation Laboratory of the Centre Tencològic Forestal de Catalunya. The data obtained are focused on the inspection of bat refuges as tunnels, corridors, buildings and cavities in Endesa's facilities, the characterisation of individuals, identification of endangered species, population census, and behaviour of the colonies.

The sampling, study, and monitoring of the colonies are respectful of the individuals and their ecosystem, using new methods and state-of-the-art technology, such as automatic monitoring by means of time-lapse photography (photo-trapping) and ultrasound recordings. These studies are also being used to test and validate innovative methodologies, so that Endesa's facilities will serve not only as a beneficial habitat for the bats but also as a field for scientific research, without affecting the normal operation of the power plants.

These years of study and data collection are allowing Endesa to incorporate various actions to adapt its hydraulic facilities in favour of bat colonies. These measures include conditioning the entrances to the tunnels, placing specific shelter boxes and reducing the luminosity in certain critical points.

The great richness of species that have been detected within the project provides new and valuable data on the biology and distribution of bats. These data are very useful to better understand the status of the species.

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Colony of bats

Installation of ultrasound recorders

Myotis capaccinii

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