Thursday, April 02, 2009

simple but effective

The number of birds killed by crashing into communication towers could be reduced by about 50–70% by simply changing the towers’ lighting systems, researchers say. Millions of night-migrating songbirds collide with (these) towers each year. Joelle Gehring of Michigan State University in Lansing and her colleagues counted bird carcasses below 21 similar-sized towers in Michigan during two 20-day migration periods in 2005. Towers with only flashing lights had a mean of 3.7 bird kills per season, whereas towers with both flashing and steadily burning lights had a mean of 13. As the steady light may attract birds, the team suggests that tower operators turn off those lights or reprogram them to flash.
Original article published in: Ecol. Appl. 19, 505–514 (2009)
Picture is a bit OTT - but you get the idea.

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