Increased demand for domestic production of renewable energy has led to expansion of energy infrastructure across western North America. Much of the western U.S. comprises remote landscapes that are home to a variety of vegetation communities and wildlife species, including the imperiled sagebrush ecosystem and indicator species such as greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus). Geothermal sources in particular have potential for continued development across the western U.S. but impacts to greater sage-grouse and other species are unknown. To address this information gap, we describe a novel two-pronged methodology that analyzes impacts of geothermal energy production on pattern and process of greater sage-grouse populations using (a) before-after control-impact (BACI) measures of population growth and lek absence rates and (b) concurrent-to-operation evaluations of demographic rates. Growth and absence rate analyses utilized 14 years of lek survey data collected prior (2005–2011) and concurrent (2012–2018) to geothermal operations at two sites in Nevada, USA. Demographic analyses utilized relocation data, restricted inference to concurrent years, and incorporated 17 additional control sites. Demographic results were applied to >100 potential geothermal sites distributed across the study region to generate spatially explicit predictions of unrealized population-level impacts.
|Title||A Bayesian multi-stage modelling framework to evaluate impacts of energy development on wildlife populations: An application to Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus)|
|Authors||Brian G. Prochazka, Shawn O'Neil, Peter S. Coates|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Western Ecological Research Center|