Counts of Desert Tortoise on Large-Scale Solar Sites Are Often Wrong
I don't think anyone else has reported this, and I'm surprised it didn't make more of a splash. In fact I'd hoped to turn this into a longer feature, but it wasn't to be. Still, I'm glad I was able to write this little piece as a sidebar to a larger sidebar in Earth Island Journal. The take-away: Biologists are consistently underestimating the number of desert tortoise likely to be impacted by large-scale solar developments in the desert, in part due to faulty methodologies endorsed by state and federal agencies. The result: projects get permitted that shouldn't, and our understanding of our impacts on endangered desert tortoise through development are inaccurate. Fortunately, there's more than one way out.