On the eve of World Migratory Bird Day 2022, light pollution and its impact on migratory birds is at the center of a global campaign that aims to raise awareness of migratory birds and the need for international cooperation to protect them. keep.
World Migratory Bird Day is celebrated over two days. Traditionally observed on the second Saturday of May and October, the two observances of World Migratory Bird Day are a way of reflecting the cyclical nature of bird migration as well as the fact that there are different peak migration periods in the northern and southern hemispheres. Activities to mark the day will take place globally under the theme “Dim the Lights for Birds at Night”.
Light pollution is increasing worldwide. It is currently estimated that more than 80% of the world’s population lives under “lit skies”, a figure closer to 99% in Europe and North America.
The amount of artificial light on the Earth’s surface is increasing by at least 2% each year and could be much higher, according to a statement.
Amy Fraenkel, Executive Secretary of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) said: “Natural darkness has conservation value just like clean water, air and soil. . A key objective of World Migratory Bird Day 2022 is to raise awareness of the problem of light pollution and its negative impacts on migratory birds. Solutions are readily available, and we hope to encourage key decision makers to adopt measures to address light pollution.
The Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) is a United Nations environmental treaty and provides a global platform for the conservation and sustainable use of migratory animals and their habitats.
Light pollution is a significant and growing threat to wildlife, including many species of migratory birds. Every year, light pollution contributes to the death of millions of birds. It alters the natural patterns of light and dark in ecosystems. It can alter the migration patterns, foraging behaviors and vocal communication of birds.
Attracted to artificial light at night, particularly when there are low clouds, fog, rain or when flying at low altitudes, migrating birds are disoriented and may end up circling in illuminated areas. Depletion of energy reserves puts them at risk of exhaustion, predation and fatal collision with buildings.
Jacques Trouvilliez, Executive Secretary of the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) said: “A huge diversity of birds, active at night, suffer the impacts of light pollution. Many nocturnal migratory birds such as ducks, geese, plovers, sandpipers and songbirds are affected by light pollution causing disorientation and fatal collisions. Seabirds such as petrels and shearwaters are attracted to artificial lights on land and fall prey to rats and cats.
Light pollution guidelines covering sea turtles, seabirds and migratory shorebirds were endorsed by CMS Parties in 2020. The guidelines set out six principles of best lighting practice and call for environmental impact assessments for relevant projects that may result in light pollution. These should consider the main sources of light pollution at a given site, the wildlife species likely to be affected, and facts about proximity to important habitats and migration routes.
Many governments, cities, businesses and communities around the world are already taking action to combat light pollution.
Susan Bonfield, Director, Environment for the Americas, said, “World Migratory Bird Day is a call to action for the international conservation of migratory birds. As migratory birds cross borders, inspiring and connecting people along the way, our aim is to use the two days in 2022 to raise awareness of the threat of light pollution and the importance of dark skies to migrations of birds.”
The above article was published from a telegraphic source with minimal changes to the title and text.