Green Quiz: Energy and Wildlife

Photo: craigdietrich/Flickr

The Ivanpah solar thermal plant in the Mohave Desert of California is expected to go online by the end of 2013, and it will be the largest solar power plant of its kind in the world. During construction, developers unexpectedly encountered nearly 200 of a particular threatened animal.  What was that animal?


A) Desert salamander

B) Desert tortoise

C) Kangaroo rat

D) Blunt-nosed leopard lizard


The correct answer is B) Desert tortoise.

After finding more tortoises than anticipated, developers relocated them to a different site and set up nature preserves elsewhere with the assistance of environmental organizations. The incident illustrated why careful siting is an important part of any kind of energy development.

You can learn more about the Ivanpah desert tortoise conservation effort here and here [PDF].