Fireworks create short-term noise and light disturbances that can have short- and long-term effects on animals and the environment on a larger scale, according to researchers from Curtin’s School of Molecular and Life Sciences.
What to Know
The annual timing of some large-scale fireworks events coincides with the migratory or reproductive movements of wildlife and may therefore have adverse long-term effects on their populations.
Fireworks also produce significant pulses of highly pollutant materials that also contribute significantly to the chemical pollution of soil, water, and air, which has implications for human as well as animal health.
Examples of how wildlife is affected include fireworks in Spanish festivals affecting the breeding success of house sparrows. Fireworks displays in July were implicated in the decline of Brandt’s cormorant colonies in California, and in South American, sea lions changed their behavior during breeding season because of New Year’s fireworks in Chile.
Fireworks remain globally popular despite the overwhelming evidence that they negatively affect wildlife, domestic animals, and the environment.
Replacing fireworks with cleaner drone and laser light shows during sensitive periods for wildlife migration or mating could limit the impact on nature and the environment.
This is a summary of the article, “Not Just a Flash in the Pan: Short and Long Term Impacts of Fireworks on the Environment,” published in Pacific Conservation Biology on January 8, 2023. The full article can be found on publish.csiro.au.
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