Can Solar Energy and Wildlife Coexist?
Finding solar solutions amid desert tortoises, butterflies and the nation's biggest buildings
Renewable energy development is vital to reduce the threats of climate change. But can solar energy development coexist with wildlife and sensitive lands?
Scientists from the University of California, Davis, are delving into that question and coming up with some promising solutions through three distinct, yet interconnected, projects.
Inside a small building at the edge of California’s Mojave National Preserve, a group of baby desert tortoises has just finished a large salad of chopped chard, dandelion and mustard greens, all sprinkled with a dusting of calcium.
About 200 desert tortoises live here at the National Park Service’s Ivanpah Desert Tortoise Research Facility. The hatchlings don’t realize it, but as they digest their lunch, they’re enjoying what may be the best months of their lives. And it shows.
By wild desert tortoise standards, these babies are huge. Though just 7 months old, they are already the size of a 3- or 4-year-old tortoise in the wild.