Energy & Wildlife

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Energy development is booming across the United States, helping to secure plentiful energy to meet our nation’s needs.  Yet energy generation can sometimes have adverse effects on ecosystems and wildlife. USGS scientists are studying the effects of energy infrastructure on wildlife, and are working to develop the technical and management options that can reduce risks to wildlife and industry.

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Our Research Portfolio

Our Research Portfolio

USGS projects are designed to help understand and reduce potential negative interactions of fish and wildlife with energy development.

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Informing Solutions

Informing Solutions

Can we make wind power more compatible with wildlife? A story about Hawaii’s only native land mammal, the ōpe‘ape‘a, and wind energy in Hawaii.

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Annual Report

Annual Report

USGS conducts research on species impacted by energy development and develops methods to minimize negative effects to species and habitats.

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News

Date published: August 10, 2020

RAMPS Newsletter - Summer 2020 Edition

This season's edition of the Restoration Assessment and Monitoring Program for the Southwest Newsletter contains recent program highlights including research updates, new projects, field updates and more.

To subscribe to our newsletter, please visit: ...

Date published: April 17, 2020

Some Approaches to Accounting for Incidental Carcass Discoveries in Non-Monitored Years using the Evidence of Absence Model

The software tool “Evidence of Absence” (EoA) was published in 2014 to help interpret evidence that the number of fatalities of protected species (PS) that may occur at wind energy facilities has not exceeded a given threshold. The interpretation is based on the estimated probability of finding a PS carcass and the number of PS carcasses found during systematic surveys of the facilities. 

Date published: February 26, 2020

Movements and Habitat Use of Loons for Assessment of Conservation Buffer Zones in the Arctic Coastal Plain of Northern Alaska

Few data exist to assess the value of National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska management buffer zones for conservation-reliant yellow-billed loons or sympatrically breeding red-throated and Pacific loons. 

Publications

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Year Published: 2020

Energy Development and Production in the Great Plains: Implications and Restoration Opportunities

Energy is an integral part of society. The major US energy sources of fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas); biofuels (ethanol); and wind are concentrated in grassland ecosystems of the Great Plains. As energy demand continues to increase, mounting pressures will be placed on North American grassland systems. In this review, we present the...

Ott, Jacqueline P.; Hanberry, Brice B.; Khalil, Mona; Paschke, Mark W.; Post van der Burg, Max; Prenni, Anthony J.

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Year Published: 2020

Wind, sun, and wildlife: Do wind and solar energy development “short-circuit” conservation in the western United States?

Despite the trade-offs between renewable energy development, land use, humans, and wildlife, wind and solar development continues to transform the southwestern US into a green energy landscape. While renewable energy reduces carbon emissions and reliance on fossil fuels, many studies have emerged on the associated ecological and social impacts of...

Agha, Mickey; Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Ennen Joshua R.; Todd, Brian D

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Year Published: 2020

Assessing population-level consequences of anthropogenic stressors for terrestrial wildlife

Human activity influences wildlife. However, the ecological and conservation significances of these influences are difficult to predict and depend on their population‐level consequences. This difficulty arises partly because of information gaps, and partly because the data on stressors are usually collected in a count‐based manner (e.g., number of...

Katzner, Todd E.; Braham, Melissa A.; Conkling, Tara; Diffendorfer, James E.; Duerr, Adam E.; Loss, Scott R.; Nelson, David M.; Vander Zanden, Hannah B.; Yee, Julie L.