Our new paper, led by my colleague at the USGS and recently published in the journal Ecosphere, evaluates gas field infrastructure on pygmy rabbit abundance. We think this work is noteworthy because there is not a lot known on the effects of energy field on pygmy rabbits, a species of conservation concern. Well pads were found to occur on higher quality habitat and pygmy rabbit abundance was lower closer to gas field infrastructure (e.g. roads, well pads, utilities). New technologies in energy extraction (e.g. directional drilling) would reduce the energy extraction footprint and provides future opportunities to locate infrastructure in areas of poor quality wildlife habitat.
- Germaine, S., Assal, T.J., Freeman, A., Carter, S.K., 2020. Distance effects of gas field infrastructure on pygmy rabbits in southwestern Wyoming. Ecosphere 11, 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.3230
Top image: Sagebrush steppe in southwestern Wyoming.