Energy & Wildlife

Species and Habitats

Energy development and operations affect species and the habitats they depend on in different ways. Some bird and bat species are more susceptible to collisions with wind energy facilities than others. Others may be displaced from their habitat near or within facilities. USGS scientists are improving our understanding of why some species are more susceptible to energy infrastructure than others, and are working to inform technological and management solutions designed to reduce negative impacts.

Filter Total Items: 80
Date published: April 26, 2019
Status: Active

Exploring the potential effects of shale oil and gas development on freshwaters

Widespread shale oil and gas (unconventional oil and gas, UOG) has only recently begun and many gaps in our knowledge of its potential effects to freshwaters exist. We conducted several studies aimed at filling these gaps, providing data on the rates and volumes of materials spilled, proximity of spills to important ecosystems, and overall production of wastes. These data together with current...

Date published: April 9, 2019
Status: Active

Deepwater Atlantic Habitats II: Continued Atlantic Research and Exploration in Deepwater Ecosystems with Focus on Coral, Canyon, and Seep Communities. Part II: Genetic Connectivity and Oceanomic Studies

This study utilizes genetics and genomics techniques to characterize biodiversity and genetic connectivity among deep-sea coral habitats and cold seeps in and near submarine canyons and will use environmental DNA techniques to characterize plankton diversity and to identify key contributors to carbon export from surface waters that sustain sensitive benthic communities. The proposed genetics...

Date published: April 3, 2019
Status: Active

An ecosystem approach to assessing unconventional oil and gas impacts in aquatic ecosystems

The development of unconventional oil and gas (UOG) technology promises economic, societal and national security benefits.  However, technological developments in this field have rapidly outpaced scientific studies on potential environmental effects.  The effects of accidental UOG-related spills on environmental health are not adequately characterized, often occur in already ecological...

Date published: March 29, 2019
Status: Active

Evaluation and Development of Fish Passage Structures and Technologies

Dams can be found in just about every major river, and for good reason.  Society has received many benefits like flood control, hydropower, water supply storage, and places to recreate.  However, many fish and other life in our rivers can’t swim around these barriers.  Often, the best spot for a fish to live and reproduce is out of reach because they can’t pass by a dam.  This has not gone...

Date published: March 12, 2019
Status: Active

A Generalized Estimator for Estimating Bird and Bat Mortality at Renewable Energy Facilities - GenEst

GenEst - One estimator for accurate bird and bat fatality estimates

Contacts: Daniel Dalthorp, Manuela M Huso, Paul Rabie
Date published: December 13, 2018
Status: Active

WFRC Ecology Section - Projects Overview

The Ecology Section examines how environmental variability, human activities and infrastructure influence food web interactions and species performance in freshwater and marine ecosystems. We have extensive experience in quantifying aquatic food web processes as they relate to growth, survival and production of key species of interest, especially resident and anadromous salmonids.

Date published: September 12, 2018
Status: Active

Salmonid Population and Life History Research in Tributary Stream and River Habitats and Response to Dam Removal

Juvenile anadromous salmonids all spend some portion of their lives in freshwater. This time may vary from days to years depending upon species and run. Spring Chinook Salmon and Coho salmon generally spend one year in freshwater and Steelhead may spend up to five years in freshwater prior to beginning their journey to sea. Several projects at WFRC – CRRL are investigating populations, life-...

Contacts: Ian Jezorek
Date published: August 28, 2018
Status: Active

Statistical Tools for Wind and Solar Energy Development and Operations

Solar and wind power development is increasing exponentially in the United States. However, these energy sources may affect wildlife, either directly from collisions with the turbine blades or photovoltaic arrays or indirectly from loss of habitat and migration routes. An important component to understanding the effects of these renewable energy projects on wildlife is accurate and precise...

Date published: August 13, 2018
Status: Active

Changing Arctic Ecosystems

The USGS Changing Arctic Ecosystems Initiative will enhance the long-term science foundation needed by the U.S. Department of the Interior and other partners.

Date published: August 10, 2018
Status: Active

Loon Research

Scientists at the USGS Alaska Science Center have conducted research on Alaska’s three loon species since the late 1970s. Loons rely on freshwater lakes for nesting habitat and fish and invertebrates inhabiting lakes and marine ecosystems for food. All three loon species in Alaska occur within the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A) on Alaska’s northern coast. Research by the USGS is...

Date published: August 6, 2018
Status: Active

Sea Turtle Movement and Habitat Use in the Northern Gulf of Mexico

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) uses trawling to capture and relocate live sea turtles away from dredging locations to minimize the risk of turtle entrainment. These incidental turtle captures provide a unique opportunity to fill critical data gaps for difficult to capture life-stages of marine turtles.

Date published: August 3, 2018
Status: Active

Distribution and Density of Sea Turtles in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM): Gulf of Mexico Marine Assessment Program for Protected Species (GoMMAPPS)

The over-arching goal of GoMMAPPS is to collect broad-scale survey data for seabirds, marine mammals and sea turtles to determine distribution and abundance in the Gulf of Mexico.