FARGO (AP) - Officials are studying mule deer and birds in western North Dakota to help determine the impact of oil activity on wildlife.
Researchers in one study have equipped 90 female mule deer with radio collars to track survival rates. Mule deer browse on a lot of plants and are considered a species that will provide an early indicator of the impacts of oil development on wildlife, said Jesse Kolar, a University of Missouri graduate student who is doing field work.
Biologists will study mule deer populations primarily in Badlands terrain from the Amidon area in the south to the Watford City and Tobacco Gardens areas near Lake Sakakawea to the north. Researchers will monitor survival rates, noting whether does and fawns survive from spring into summer and through the winter, Kolar said.