Monday, October 29, 2012

Matt Hethcoat to speak on the effects of natural gas development on songbirds.

Research has shown that energy development in sagebrush habitats can have negative effects on songbirds. It is unclear, however, why the abundance of certain songbirds declines in areas of intensive development. Is it because disturbance and habitat fragmentation reduce the availability of food for these birds or is it because of an increase in generalist predators that are associated with human presence and prey on nests? Matt Hethcoat’s research tackles the second hypothesis and focuses on the effects of natural gas development on the predation rates of sagebrush-obligate songbird nests. He is working to identify what drives the predation patterns on songbird nests in sagebrush habitats affected by energy development. He also hopes to develop some strategies to reduce the impacts of energy development on songbirds. Come and find out more about energy development and songbirds on October 31, 2011. Refreshments start at 6:30 pm and the talk will begin at 7:00 pm in the Berry Center (10th & Lewis) Auditorium.

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