In DepthWILDLIFE CONSERVATION

Battle over drilling in Arctic refuge reignites

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Science  24 Nov 2017:
Vol. 358, Issue 6366, pp. 978-979
DOI: 10.1126/science.358.6366.978

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Summary

As Congress draws close to ordering oil drilling on the coastal plain of Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, questions are revolving around the fate of the 200,000-animal caribou herd there. At a time when caribou numbers are falling across much of the continent, the Porcupine herd that uses the coastal plain for calving grounds is faring well. But research in recent decades has shown that caribou often move to avoid industrial activities, raising concerns that drilling on the coastal plain could push pregnant and nursing females to less productive territory.