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Change Of Lighting Could Drastically Reduce Bird Death By Collision With Communication Towers

Date:
March 20, 2009
Source:
Ecological Society of America
Summary:
Each year, it is estimated that millions of birds collide with communication towers. Researchers have discovered that a simple alteration of the lighting scheme on these towers may reduce bird mortality by as much as 71 percent.
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Each year, it is estimated that millions of birds collide with communication towers. Joelle Gehring of the Michigan Natural Features Inventory at Michigan State University and her colleagues discovered that a simple alteration of the lighting scheme on these towers may reduce bird mortality by as much as 71 percent.

The authors compared avian fatalities, mostly of tropical migrating songbirds, at towers equipped with different combinations of red and white strobe-like, flashing or steady-burning lights. The researchers found fewer dead birds under towers equipped with only red or white flashing lights.

Towers that were lit under the current Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations of a combination of red flashing and non-flashing lights had significantly more avian fatalities than those lit only with flashing lights.

The authors point out that a change of this type would be of little cost to the tower owners, since most of the lighting infrastructure is already in place.


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The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Ecological Society of America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Gehring J., P. Kerlinger, A.M. Manville II. Communication towers, lights, and birds: successful methods of reducing the frequency of avian collisions. Ecological Applications, 2009; 19 (2): 505 DOI: 10.1890/07-1708.1

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Ecological Society of America. "Change Of Lighting Could Drastically Reduce Bird Death By Collision With Communication Towers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090319102421.htm>.
Ecological Society of America. (2009, March 20). Change Of Lighting Could Drastically Reduce Bird Death By Collision With Communication Towers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090319102421.htm
Ecological Society of America. "Change Of Lighting Could Drastically Reduce Bird Death By Collision With Communication Towers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090319102421.htm (accessed August 29, 2015).

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