Oil development in the grasslands: Saskatchewan's Bakken formation and species at risk protection.
This paper considers the possible impacts of oil development on wildlife in the grasslands ecosystem, particularly in the province of Saskatchewan. The Bakken formation, a major North American shale play, overlaps with one of the largest areas for grassland birds in Canada the US. Access to the oil is made possible through fracking and horizontal drilling, which are controversial techniques that have been regulated and banned in other parts of North America and the world. Drawing on analysis of recovery documents for listed species at risk, this paper illustrates that oil development is impacting species through habitat destruction, oil and noise pollution, invasive species, and road infrastructure. Current wildlife policy in Saskatchewan is inadequate to protect species at risk in the Bakken formation.