High-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is a new technology that poses many threats to biodiversity. Species that have small geographic ranges and a large overlap with the extensively industrializing Marcellus and Utica shale-gas region are vulnerable to environmental impacts of fracking, including salinization and forest fragmentation. We reviewed the ranges and ecological requirements of 15 species (1 mammal, 8 salamanders, 2 fishes, 1 butterfly, and 3 vascular plants), with 36%–100% range overlaps with the Marcellus-Utica region to determine their susceptibility to shale-gas activities. Most of these species are sensitive to forest fragmentation and loss or to degradation of water quality, two notable impacts of fracking. Moreover, most are rare or poorly studied and should be targeted for research and management to prevent their reduction, extirpation, or extinction from human-caused impacts.
Environmental Practice 14:1–12 (2012)