UW Study: Sagebrush Songbirds Decrease with More Drilling

UW Study: Sagebrush Songbirds Decrease with More Drilling

(WY News Service) -- Songbirds populations are thinned out by increases in oil and gas drilling, that's according to a recent study at the University of Wyoming.

Other studies have focused on the effects of drilling on larger game and sage grouse, but the recent study found that drilling reduces the density of songbirds near drilling sites. Researcher Anna Chalfoun explains.

She added that more raccoons, cats and mice in drilling areas hurt songbird populations.

The Biodiversity Conservation Alliance is pushing to keep well density around one pad per square mile. Larger well density, study areas focused on 16 per square mile areas, birds have a tough time through their migratory range.

Sage sparrows and Brewer's sparrows have been designated Sensitive Species by the BLM, supposedly requiring them more conservation attention. The BCA has also placed the birds on the watch list for endangered species consideration.

The study was conducted in the LaBarge oilfield, and the Pindale Anticline and Johan natural gas fields.

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