Wildlife in the Oilfield
PHOTO CONTEST ENTRY FORM
The premise that man and nature cannot co-exist, that where man encroaches, wildlife scatters and dies out, is simply untrue. When the Alaskan pipeline was being built, environmentalists bemoaned the fate of the caribou saying the animals would suffer immensely. The exact opposite happened. In Prudhoe Bay, about 50 miles west of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the number of caribou has quintupled since production began in early 1978. The caribou often use the oil field equipment and the adjoining Alaskan pipeline for a windbreak and warmth. Much of the year the temperature in this region is a frigid 40 degrees below zero.
In New Mexico oil fields, many species of wildlife use equipment in a productive manner. Birds will use elevated surfaces as foundations for nests. Deer, like caribou, use the equipment for a windbreak and warmth.
There is so much wildlife in the oilfield that in 2004 IPANM created a contest where oil field workers and others could win cash prizes for the best photo or video demonstrating wildlife adapting to manmade changes in their environment.