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Study: Grassland birds losing ground to ND oil drilling

BISMARCK, N.D. — A new federal study says many grassland birds are being displaced by drilling activity in western North Dakota’s oil patch.

The three-year study completed in 2014 was done by scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey and the federal Fish and Wildlife Service.

Researchers studied several oil well sites and nearby gravel roads and found some grassland birds avoided those areas by more than a quarter mile. The study says at least two species of grassland birds “were tolerant of oil-related infrastructure.”

The study says combining numerous wells in a single area and putting them near existing roads could help minimize the impact on the birds.

North Dakota Petroleum Council Vice President Kari Cutting says the state already requires that to be done.

This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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