Tag Archives: Pinedale Anticline

New long-term study shows 40% decline in native Wyoming deer population due to oil and gas drilling

An important new study shows that oil and gas activity can have severe negative long-term impacts on native wildlife.

The study, “Mule deer and energy developmentā€”Long-term trends of habituation and abundance,” was published last month in Global Change Biology Journal. The authors tracked 187 mule deer for 17 years from 1998-2015 in the upper Green River Basin of western Wyoming, referred to as the Pinedale Anticline. The area is a prime wintering spot for thousands of mule deer, which annually migrate 20-100 miles from summer areas in four different mountain ranges.

The study showed a decline in habitat available to the deer, a dramatic overall decline in the deer population, a corresponding decline in the harvest of deer by local hunters, and s significant reduction in the size of the remaining deer.

Communities contemplating oil and gas development need to be aware of the unintended consequences of that development, and make sure that their way of life — ecological, social, economic — is maintained for the long term. Continue reading

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