Scientists from Colorado State University’s Warner College of Natural Resources, George Wittemyer and Joseph Northrup, have published a paper assessing the impact of booming energy development on wildlife and proposing mitigation strategies and a more collaborative research to achieve a thorough understanding between the energy technology and wildlife.
In their research paper entitled, “Characterizing the impacts of emerging energy development on wildlife, with an eye towards mitigation,” published recently in Ecology Letters, Northrup and Wittemyer analyzed existing insights on impacts of energy development on terrestrial wildlife ecosystem, and showed that these impacts are species- and system-specific, and thus, requiring customization of investigations.
Some of their proposed mitigation strategies are to minimize human footprint on energy production sites, to preserve wildlife habitats, and to be very cautious on operating during migration and nesting periods.
“Energy related development is one of the primary drivers of landscape change. To maintain the integrity of impacted systems, it is critical that we work to minimize the impacts that this land use change is eliciting on a massive scale,” said Northrup.
Indeed, this aspect of the current renewable energy technologies has been overlooked and needs appropriate attention and response. Not only the terrestrial ecosystem is potentially affected, but the marine life as well, as the ocean renewable energy production is also burgeoning.