World Migratory Bird Day illuminates the dark side of light pollution

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Governments, cities, companies, and communities astir the satellite are taking enactment to code a important and increasing menace to wildlife, including galore taxon of migratory birds - airy pollution.

The contented is the absorption for World Migratory Bird Day, observed this Saturday, 14 April, nether the taxable “Dim the Lights for Birds astatine Night.”

Light contamination is increasing, with artificially lit outdoor areas rising by 2.2 per cent per twelvemonth from 2012 to 2016, according to 1 survey cited by the Secretariat of the Convention connected Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), a UN biology treaty.

Currently, much than 80 per cent of the world's colonisation is estimated to unrecorded nether a “lit sky”, and the fig is person to 99 per cent successful Europe and North America. 

Altering earthy patterns

“Natural acheronian has a conservation worth successful the aforesaid mode arsenic cleanable water, air, and soil. A cardinal extremity of World Migratory Bird Day 2022 is to rise consciousness of the contented of airy contamination and its antagonistic impacts connected migratory birds,” said Amy Fraenkel, the CMS Executive Secretary. 

Artificial airy alters earthy patterns of airy and acheronian wrong ecosystems, and contributes to the deaths of millions of birds each year.

Light contamination tin origin birds to alteration their migration patterns, foraging behaviours and vocal communication, resulting successful disorientation and collisions.  

Disorientation and death

Migrating birds are attracted to artificial airy astatine nighttime – peculiarly erstwhile determination are debased unreality conditions, fog, rain, oregon erstwhile flying astatine little altitudes -  luring them to dangers successful cities.

Birds go disorientated and, arsenic a result, whitethorn extremity up circling successful illuminated areas. With their vigor reserves depleted, they hazard exhaustion, oregon worse.

“Many nocturnally migrating birds specified arsenic ducks, geese, plovers, sandpipers and songbirds are affected by airy contamination causing disorientation and collisions with fatal consequences," said Jacques Trouvilliez, Executive Secretary of the African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA), different UN treaty.

"Seabirds specified arsenic petrels and shearwaters are attracted by artificial lights connected onshore and go prey for rats and cats.” 

Safer skies

Two years ago, countries that are enactment to the CMS endorsed guidelines connected airy contamination covering marine turtles, seabirds, and migratory shorebirds.

The recommendations telephone for Environmental Impact Assessments to beryllium conducted for projects that could effect successful airy pollution.  

Projects should see the main sources of airy contamination astatine a definite site, the apt chaotic taxon to beryllium affected, and facts astir proximity to important habitats and migratory pathways.

New guidelines focused connected migratory landbirds and bats are presently being developed and volition beryllium presented for adoption astatine a CMS league adjacent year.

Solutions to airy contamination are readily available, said Ms. Frankel. More and much cities worldwide are taking measures to dim gathering lights during migration phases successful outpouring and autumn, according to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

Call to action

World Migratory Bird Day is celebrated doubly a year, connected the 2nd Saturday successful May and October, successful designation of the cyclical quality of vertebrate migration and the antithetic highest migration periods successful the bluish and confederate hemispheres.

It is organized by a collaborative concern among the 2 UN wildlife treaties and the non-profit organization, Environment for the Americas (EFTA).

“World Migratory Bird Day is simply a telephone to enactment for planetary migratory vertebrate conservation,” said Susan Bonfield, the EFTA Director. 

"As migratory birds’ travel crossed borders, inspiring and connecting radical on the way, it is our purpose to usage the 2 days successful 2022 to rise consciousness of the menace of airy contamination and the value of acheronian skies to vertebrate migrations.”

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