Research Task: 8327CFC.8.0
Task Manager: Natasha Carr
Energy development in the Intermountain West is intensifying rapidly, which may have profound effects on the region's wildlife and vegetative communities. The Mountain Plover, whose populations have declined precipitously over the last 30 years, has been proposed for, but precluded from, listing under the Endangered Species Act; thus, many natural resource agencies (including the Bureau of Land Management) and other entities list it as a species of special concern and are collaborating in their efforts to better understand which factors may be contributing to the species' decline. In Wyoming, where energy development and extraction are especially intense, there is an immediate need for information about measures that could mitigate disturbance to mountain plovers associated with these activities. This task entails a pilot study to (1) evaluate plover breeding populations, nesting densities, and productivity in Wyoming landscapes before and after energy development; and (2) identify where densities and/or rates of energy infrastructures and activities are low, medium, and high. The results of this work will help to guide recommendations for minimizing both short- and long-term effects of energy development on this species of concern.
For more information contact Natasha Carr