New report calls for study on biological effects of fracking

Photo: Oil and gas rig near home (AP Photo)A team of eight biologists wants to know more about how booming oil and gas development could affect wildlife.

The researchers, including one from Colorado State University say there is much that is unknown about the threat to plants and animals from underground chemicals and drilling accidents.

CSU's Tabitha Graves is a co-author of a report released this week in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment calling for more study.

"We just saw that there was really a rapid increase in this kind of development," Graves says. "And that the pace of this development was outpacing the research that could be done to protect the wildlife and other plants and animals."

Graves adds that scientists already know about some of the effects on wildlife, like habitat loss and water contamination.

"The piece we don’t know as much about is things like equipment failure, accidents, when we have spills, how frequently does that occur and what are the relative impacts that occur from that," she says.