“A World of Wildlife in Abandoned Mines”
by Ian Rose
The Scientist, June 1, 2022
Dear (Editor’s name) and The Scientist editors,
The western United States is absolutely covered in abandoned mines. Leftovers from the Gold Rush and other surges of westward expansion, these sites are generally seen as ugly, dangerous scars on the landscape. But to wildlife, especially predators, they are often a refuge, and scientists are just now understanding the importance of these sites to some of the west’s most threatened species.
In a recent paper in the Journal of Wildlife Management, Timothy Armstrong and colleagues at Adams State University in Colorado present their work on 50 mine sites in the Sangre de Cristo mountains, showing a wide variety of carnivores and other species using the mines. Their work suggests a new paradigm in the management of these sites, considering both human safety and wildlife use.
If you find this interesting, I would like to write a short news item on this paper, including interviews with a few of the authors as well as an outside source. I am relatively new to science writing, but have recently published articles in Earth Island Journal and Hakai Magazine.
Please let me know if this story is a good fit for The Scientist, or if I can answer any questions. Thank you for your time.