The Tortoise and the Solar Panel

Finding Ways to Balance Energy Development and Species Conservation on Public Lands

The Tortoise and the Solar Panel

Finding Ways to Balance Energy Development and Species Conservation on Public Lands

Increasingly, we are confronted with the ways that climate change contributes to the looming sixth mass extinction. Historically, the Mojave Desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) has been threatened by changes in land use that destroy its habitat - like urbanization, road construction and off-road vehicle trails. But today, this species is facing an ever more difficult road to recovery, with the prospect of rising temperatures and decreasing rainfall due to climate change threatening to reduce the availability of food, facilitate the spread of invasive plants, and shift the ratio of males to females. To combat climate change, Defenders of Wildlife is committed to the development of renewable energy sources like solar power as a replacement for fossil fuel and we are working to find approaches that do not compromise wildlife conservation. Learn more here.

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Michael Evans
Senior Conservation Data Scientist

As a Senior Conservation Data Scientist in the Center for Conservation Innovation at Defenders, Mike leads geoinformatics and data science projects to inform and improve conservation.