Last updated: June 12, 2015
Hydrogen Sulfide Monitoring near Oil and Gas Production Facilities in Southeastern New Mexico and Potential Effects of Hydrogen Sulfide to Migratory Birds and Other Wildlife
FFS 2F41- 200220006.1
1 - 92
PUBLICATION DATE: December 2010
Point count surveys of migratory birds were also conducted to determine differences in habitat use of areas impacted by oil and gas production activities. Point count survey results of migratory birds from undisturbed sites (areas without oil and gas activities within 250 meters) were compared with disturbed sites (areas affected by oil and gas activities). Point count surveys began on November 21, 2002 and concluded on August 6, 2003. We found statistically significant differences in the average number of avian individuals per point count, the average number of avian species per point count, the species diversity, and the average concentration of hydrogen sulfide per point count at disturbed and undisturbed sites. Avian diversity and number of species as determined by point count surveys were significantly lower at disturbed sites than at undisturbed sites.
There is little information on the effect of hydrogen sulfide on migratory birds or other wildlife species even though they often occupy habitats that contain elevated hydrogen sulfide in the ambient air. In order to evaluate the toxicity of hydrogen sulfide to a variety of species, we modeled the dose and potential response of the sand dune lizard, as well as several migratory birds and mammal species to hydrogen sulfide. We determined that concentrations as low as 1 ppm may affect highly active migratory birds and mammals. Adoption of ambient hydrogen sulfide air quality standards as low as 1 ppm may be appropriate to protect wildlife.