Argument: Drilling in ANWR would harm bird habitats

Issue Report: Oil Drilling in Arctic Wildlife Refuge


  • Natural Resource Defense Council 3/10/05 – “Oil development would permanently harm bird habitat: During the brief summer season, more than 135 bird species gather on the refuge’s coastal plain to breed, nest and make migratory stopovers. Among the many species that rely on the area are snow geese, tundra swans, red-throated loons, snowy owls, eider ducks and a variety of shorebirds. Some of these birds are extremely sensitive to human disturbance. Snow geese, for example, depend on the coastal plain as a place to rapidly build up fat reserves for their 1,200-mile nonstop migration to Southern California and Mexico. Helicopters and airplanes can disturb snow geese from as far as 4 miles away. According to the Interior Department, these kinds of disturbances, along with destruction of prime feeding areas, could prevent the birds from accumulating the energy reserves essential to their arduous migration, threatening their survival.”


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