Energy & Wildlife

Tools and Solutions

To make new data and knowledge gained through field and laboratory research usable and accessible, USGS scientists create interactive maps, statistical tools, and models that natural resource managers and developers can use to make science-based decisions. These tools are critical for improving the effectiveness of fish and wildlife management. Monitoring protocols and habitat-use models are providing the basis for conservation planning, supporting decisions related to energy project permitting and siting, and guiding strategies for effective restoration efforts.

Filter Total Items: 43
Date published: August 27, 2019
Status: Active

Estimating offsets for avian displacement effects of anthropogenic impacts

The avian-impact offset method (AIOM) quantifies the amount of habitat needed to provide equivalent biological value for birds displaced by energy and transportation infrastructure. The AIOM can be applied in situations where avian displacement (i.e., behavioral avoidance) requires compensatory mitigation. The AIOM is based on the ability to define five metrics: impact distance, impact area,...

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: June 27, 2018
Status: Active

Potential effects of energy development on environmental resources of the Williston Basin in Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota

Federal resource managers in the Williston Basin need to understand how the recent expansion of oil and gas development is affecting a range of natural resources. The Bakken Federal Executive Group (BFEG), a group of representatives from over a dozen federal and tribal agencies, called for a report that synthesizes existing information about the potential impacts from energy development. The...

Date published: June 27, 2018
Status: Active

Quantifying the effects of land-use change and bioenergy crop production on ecosystem services in the Northern Great Plains

Rising commodity crop prices, increased federal subsidies for biofuels, such as corn-based ethanol and soy-based biodiesel, and reduction in U.S. Farm Bill conservation programs have facilitated rapid land-use changes in the Northern Great Plains (NGP).  Although renewable biofuels are touted as a mechanism for increasing energy security and potentially reducing greenhouse gas emissions,...

Contacts: Clint Otto
Date published: June 26, 2018
Status: Active

Spatiotemporal dynamics of grassland songbird populations in response to energy development in an agricultural landscape

The recent expansion of unconventional oil and gas development in the Williston Basin of North America has raised concerns among managers about potential negative effects of such development on grassland birds. Others, however, have argued that agricultural land use in the region has had a much larger impact and that energy development may be a comparatively small stressor for grassland birds...

Date published: June 26, 2018
Status: Active

Monitoring and modeling wetland chloride concentrations in relationship to oil and gas development

Extraction of oil and gas via unconventional methods is becoming an important aspect of energy production worldwide. Studying the effects of this development in countries where these technologies are being widely used may provide managers in other oil producing parts of the world with some insight in terms of concerns associated with development. Rapid increases in energy development in North...

Date published: June 26, 2018
Status: Active

The pollinator library: a decision-support tool for improving national pollinator conservation efforts

Pollinator declines have emphasized the need for a greater understanding of plant-pollinator networks and land management activities that improve pollinator habitat.  At the request of USDA and FWS partners, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center created the Pollinator Library (https://...

Contacts: Clint Otto
Date published: June 26, 2018
Status: Active

Improving forage for honey bees and native pollinators on Federal conservation lands

Since its inception in 1933, the U.S. Farm Bill has been one of the most influential federal policies for agriculture and food production.  Provisions within the Farm Bill have profound influence on global trade, nutrition programs, commodity crop programs, rural communities, and land conservation.  Northern Prairie’s research quantifies the impact on pollinator forage and health of USDA...

Contacts: Clint Otto
Date published: June 26, 2018
Status: Active

Migration and winter ecology of the Aransas-Wood Buffalo Population of whooping cranes

The only self-sustaining population of endangered whooping cranes nests within and near Wood Buffalo National Park, Canada, migrates through the Great Plains, and winters primarily along the Texas Gulf Coast. Our objectives of this collaborative project are to address the entire annual life cycle of this species by advancing knowledge of breeding, wintering, and migration ecology, including...

Contacts: Aaron Pearse