What is it about?

Billions of birds die every year colliding with human-built structures. This includes collisions with communication towers, power lines, and renewable energy structures like wind turbines. Most previous approaches to reducing collisions have focused on making structures more visible to wildlife, but have been met with limited success. We present evidence for the successful use of acoustic signals in reducing collision risk between birds and tall structures.

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Why is it important?

The global transition away from carbon-intensive conventional energy to renewable energy solutions is necessary to mitigate climate change, meet the growing electricity demand of humans, create employment opportunities, and promote environmental justice. Mitigating human-wildlife conflicts with emerging renewable energy infrastructure will be critical to facilitating a sustainable and equitable global energy transition.


This study is unique in its field for employing animal behavior and sensory ecology approaches to understand the cause of conflict, produce a novel solution, and evaluate the efficacy of that solution. This approach demonstrates the utility of animal behavior as a measure of conflict and conflict solutions and the insights we can gain into human-wildlife conflicts by asking how wildlife sense their worlds.

Timothy Boycott
Cornell University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Field testing an “acoustic lighthouse”: Combined acoustic and visual cues provide a multimodal solution that reduces avian collision risk with tall human-made structures, PLoS ONE, April 2021, PLOS,
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0249826.
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