Wildlife Habitat Loss Due to Natural Gas Field Development

The March 2012 issue of Biological Conservation features a 5-year study that tracked the behaviour of 125 pronghorn in Wyoming’s Jonah and PAPA gas fields. Using GPS collars, it was discovered that there was an 82 percent decline of habitat use for wintering animals. “By detecting behavioral changes, it is possible to identify threshold levels of gas field infrastructure development before any significant population declines,” reported John Beckmann of WCS’s North American Program and lead author.

¬†Fifty percent of North America’s pronghorn live in Wyoming. Herds that were attracted to the mesa above the natural gas deposits are now being forced into less desirable areas. The authors of this in-depth study warn that pronghorn can only lose so much winter range before their population will begin to decline. Read the entire article here: http://phys.org/news/2012-05-gas-linked-wildlife-habitat-loss.html

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