Interest is booming in renewable energy sources, especially wind, solar, and biofuels. Such energy sources have huge benefits, including diversification of the nation’s energy portfolio, new jobs, and potential reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Yet, energy development sometimes has adverse effects on ecosystems and the wildlife that live in them, including bats, birds, reptiles, and amphibians.
Our country’s know-how and ingenuity – combined with science – can help the United States grow a responsible, sustainable, and diversified energy future. As our Nation works to advance energy security and conserve wildlife, it is critical that energy development be guided by the best science available.
USGS is in a unique position to provide that science, bringing together many fields of research to help managers, policymakers, industry, and others make decisions that allow for energy development while responsibly lessening conflicts between energy and wildlife. USGS scientists focus their research on three main goals: understanding risks, measuring impacts, and developing solutions. See this factsheet and 2017 Report for more information.
Identify when, where, and why wildlife shares space with energy facilities.
Assess direct and indirect impacts to species and populations.
Avoid or minimize impacts through technological fixes, management, and mitigation.