The economic growth and urbanization of cities has created some unforeseen problems for our environmental neighbors: birds. Buildings, especially glass, have become the second largest man-made threat to birds’ habitat loss, killing over 5 percent of the species.
Scientists have been systematically quantifying bird collision mortality and have recently released the most comprehensive research of its kind with 92,869 individual records. Up to a billion birds die of glass collisions each year in the U.S. After analysis of 23 studies, the American Bird Conservancy found where birds die:
- 56% low-rises
- 44% residential buildings
- 1% high rises
Along with the economic progress, the need to design sustainable buildings with environmental awareness has increased. Bird safety problems can and will be addressed. Current solutions include green building designs, increase high rise buildings, alternate low-rise materials and increase public awareness. Birds help our environmental ecosystem continue its natural cycle and with some additional attention, we can help ensure their survival.
BUILDING COLLISION FATALITIES
Billions of birds are dying every year from bird collisions. Buildings are calculated to make up 5% of species deaths. Buildings are officially the second largest man-made threat for their habitat loss. The American Bird Conservancy has been researching the issue and functioning as a species representative. They are dedicated to achieving conservation results and creating a future where birds are valued.
1. Reducing Glass Use in Low Rises
Glass is especially dangerous due to its reflective nature. Scientists refer to it as an “indiscriminate killer.” The Bird-Safe Glass Foundation includes several resources and news information about their efforts in increasing glass safety for birds. “Bird Safe Glass,” a prevention campaign, has helped reduce bird glass collisions and includes over 20 products for residential and commercial use.
Focusing on using alternate materials for low-rise buildings will help reduce the bird glass collision rate. Low-rise buildings are the greatest building bird killer. The exterior walls, doors and windows should be chosen carefully. Choose metal, wood or stone walls. Choose commercial steel doors or metal doors. Unless bars cover glass windows, the material may cause fatal problems. To alleviate this, checkout some guidelines for increasing such as affixing a pattern of tape designs.
2. Increasing Green Building Design Efforts
Over 25,000 architects, engineers and developers have been meeting at a “Green build” conference to discuss solutions for green building designs. The expo focuses on seven main objectives in addressing architectural environmental impact. Visit their site to view several case studies illustrating the effects of their efforts. In focusing their attention on sustainable, environmentally-friendly buildings these types of groups can make progress to preventing unnecessary loss of life and protecting the ecosystem.
Other organizations, like the U.S. Green Building Council promotes several community outreach projects, such as green schools, improving existing buildings, green janitors, women in green and more. The overall goal is sustainable buildings that reduce the negative environmental impact.
3. Raising Public Awareness
Redesigning buildings and convening for practical solutions does lot for increasing bird safety. However, for your friends and family, increasing public awareness is key. Several of the aforementioned agencies and organizations include volunteer and donation opportunities. Find a sustainability organization in your area today to find out how you can make a difference.