Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government


Publications related to Energy and Wildlife are listed below.

Filter Total Items: 370

Connectivity of Mojave Desert tortoise populations—Management implications for maintaining a viable recovery network

Executive SummaryThe historic distribution of Mojave desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) was relatively continuous across the range, and the importance of tortoise habitat outside of designated tortoise conservation areas (TCAs) to recovery has long been recognized for its contributions to supporting gene flow between TCAs and to minimizing impacts and edge effects within TCAs. However, connecti

Relative energy production determines effect of repowering on wildlife mortality at wind energy facilities

Reduction in wildlife mortality is often cited as a potential advantage to repowering wind facilities, that is, replacing smaller, lower capacity, closely spaced turbines, with larger, higher capacity ones, more widely spaced. Wildlife mortality rates, however, are affected by more than just size and spacing of turbines, varying with turbine operation, seasonal and daily weather and habitat, all o

Eagle fatalities are reduced by automated curtailment of wind turbines

Collision‐caused fatalities of animals at wind power facilities create a ‘green versus green’ conflict between wildlife conservation and renewable energy. These fatalities can be mitigated via informed curtailment whereby turbines are slowed or stopped when wildlife are considered at increased risk of collision. Automated monitoring systems could improve efficacy of informed curtailment, yet such

Use of upland and riparian areas by wintering bald eagles and implications for wind energy

Weather can shape movements of animals and alter their exposure to anthropogenic threats. Bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) are increasingly at risk from collision with turbines used in onshore wind energy generation. In the midwestern United States, development of this energy source typically occurs in upland areas that bald eagles use only intermittently. Our objective was to determine the

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 ecological effects of energy development and production on

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 this technology. Here, we review the current state

Learning from real-world experience to understand renewable energy impacts to wildlife

The project team sought to use real-world data to understand adverse effects to wildlife of renewable energy production that is critical to meeting California’s climate and clean energy goals. The project had three main components. First, a systematic literature review studied 20 peer-reviewed publications and 612 reports from other nonreviewed sources from 231 wind and solar facilities in North A

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 dead animals) that is difficult to translate into

U.S. Geological Survey science in support of the North American Bat Monitoring Program (NABat)

Bats make up one-fifth of all mammalian species worldwide and are found on every continent except Antarctica. They contribute to overall ecosystem health by suppressing pest insects and pollinating plants and spreading seeds. Eight North American bat species are listed as federally endangered or threatened, and more than one-half are of current conservation concern in the United States, Canada, or

Shale gas development has limited effects on stream biology and geochemistry in a gradient-based, multiparameter study in Pennsylvania

The number of horizontally drilled shale oil and gas wells in the United States has increased from nearly 28,000 in 2007 to nearly 127,000 in 2017, and research has suggested the potential for the development of shale resources to affect nearby stream ecosystems. However, the ability to generalize current studies is limited by the small geographic scope as well as limited breadth and integration o

Habitat affinities and at-sea ranging behaviors among main Hawaiian Island seabirds: Breeding seabird telemetry, 2013–2016

Recent Hawaiʻi state clean energy policy mandates and federal interest in developing offshore renewable energy resources have prompted unsolicited lease requests for offshore wind energy infrastructure (OWEI) to be located in ocean waters off Hawaiʻi. This study describing at-sea ranging behaviors for five seabirds was intended to provide new information on Hawaiian breeding seabird distribution a

Limitations, lack of standardization, and recommended best practices in studies of renewable energy effects on birds and bats

Increasing global energy demand is fostering the development of renewable energy as an alternative to fossil fuels. However, renewable energy facilities may adversely affect wildlife. Facility siting guidelines recommend or require project developers complete pre‐ and postconstruction wildlife surveys to predict risk and estimate effects of proposed projects. Despite this, there are no published s