Ornithological Council Towerkill Resolution
COMMUNICATION TOWERS AND AVIAN MORTALITY
WHEREAS an estimated two million to four million birds are killed in collisions with communication towers, particularly those higher than 200 feet, in eastern North America alone each year, and
WHEREAS towers 200 feet and taller are required to be lit for aircraft safety, generally with blinking lights, and
WHEREAS birds migrating at night are attracted by the light and circle the tower striking supporting guy wires; and
WHEREAS there are presently at least 75,000 towers above 200 feet tall in the U.S. (according to the Federal Aviation Administration) and another 100,000 are expected to be constructed in the next decade (according to the communications industry) due to expansion in various communications markets, and to accommodate digital TV;
WHEREAS the accrued impact of thousands of towers on migrant songbird populations may be significant for declining species such as Cerulean Warblers and endangered species such as Kirtland's Warbler,
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the American Ornithologists' Union, Association of Field Ornithologists, Cooper Ornithological Society and Wilson Ornithological Society urges the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to endorse studies involving experiments toward finding lighting systems for towers that reduce avian mortality.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the American Ornithologists' Union, Association of Field Ornithologists, Cooper Ornithological Society and Wilson Ornithological Society encourages the communications industry to voluntarily reduce the number of new towers by co-locating new transmitters on existing towers and to work with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) to minimize collisions of birds with towers;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the American Ornithologists' Union, Association of Field Ornithologists, Cooper Ornithological Society and Wilson Ornithological Society strongly encourages the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to work with the FAA and the Federal Communications Commission to study the magnitude of the problem, including through preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement, and to develop a national plan to minimize collisions of birds with towers.
Approved April, 1998, St. Louis, Missouri
Cochran, William W. and Richard R. Graber. 1958. Attraction of nocturnal migrants by lights on a television tower. Wilson Bulletin, 70:378-380.
Kemper, Charles. 1996. A Study of Bird Mortality at as West Central Wisconsin TV Tower from 1957-1995. Passenger Pigeon, 58: 219-235.
Larkin, Ronald P., and Barbara A. Frase. 1988. Circular paths of birds flying near a broadcasting tower in cloud. Journal of Comparative Psychology 102:90-93.
Ogden, Lesley P. 1996. Collision course: the hazards of lighted structures and windows to migrating birds. World Wildlife Fund Canada and the Fatal Lights Awareness Program, 46 pp.
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