USA: sage grouse losing habitat because of methane gas drilling

USA: sage grouse losing habitat because of methane gas drilling
USA: sage grouse losing habitat because of methane gas drilling

Lead researcher David Naugle, a wildlife professor at the University of Montana, said preliminary findings show the need to find a new way of thinking when it comes to coal-bed methane development and wildlife conservation in the mineral-rich Powder River Basin.

While the study also cited loss of habitat, expansion of roads, increased human activity and West Nile virus as other factors that can hurt sage grouse numbers, the decline in the birds' population - an estimated 84 percent in the basin since 1988 - correlates with the period when methane gas development took off in the 1990s, the AP reports.