Published on April 30th, 2012 | by James Johnson1
7 Million Birds Die Each Year Thanks To Communication Towers
A recent study has revealed that almost 7 million birds die each year because of nearly 84,000 communications towers that spread across North American and which can rise more than 2,000 feet into the sky.
The study was conducted by staff at USC and was published in the April 25 edition of the journal PLoS One. The study took in migratory patterns from the United States to Canada and Central and South America.
To put that number in perspective, the Exxon Valdex oil spill led to 250,000 bird deaths.
According to lead author Travis Longcore:
“This is a tragedy that does not have to be.”
The study finds that approximately 1,000 towards that are 900 feet or taller account for 70 percent of the birds deaths, nearly 4.5 million per year, despite the fact that those towers make up less than 1.6 percent of all communication towers in the United States.
Researchers reveal in the study that it is not typically the towers themselves that kill the birds but rather the dozens of guide wires that extend from the communications towers.
The study also found that blinking red lights did not appear to confuse birds but static red light towers did notice an increase in the number of bird related deaths.
According to the study simply changing steady-burning lights to blinking lights on more than 4,500 towers that are 490 feet or taller could save nearly 2.5 million birds annually.
It’s strange to think that the towers we use to communication are killing millions of animals each year, here’s to hoping at least a third of those birds can be saved with 4,500 blinking light changes.