It's nowhere near the level of destruction wrought by coal mines, oil and gas wells, or giant conventional power plants, but solar installations do have their consequences. Among them: making habitats hostile to prairie dogs.

In order to save the animals — whose home is about to be heavily shaded by a six-acre installation of 15-foot-high solar panels in Flagstaff, Ariz. — the nonprofit Habitat Harmony baits, traps, and relocates them to a private ranch. Over the past 10 years, the organization and its volunteers have relocated almost 500 prairie dogs.

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"Ultimately, we like to co-exist with the prairie dogs when we can," project lead Emily Nelson told the Arizona Daily Sun.

 

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