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FLAP Forces Toronto Buildings to Retrofit

With help from the FLAP building strikesToronto based Fatal Light Awareness Program, a non-profit seeking to raise awareness of the dangers of ambient skyscraper light to migratory birds, to Ontario based environmental groups have succeeded in forcing two of Toronto’s most dangerous buildings to take action to mitigate the effects on those birds passing through the Great Lakes, one of the most heavily trafficked migratory bird corridors on earth.

(at left a mosaic of one year’s worth of window-killed birds in Toronto, arranged by FLAP)

In 2008 and 2009, FLAP documented over 900 bird fatalities from two buildings in the Consilium Place office complex.  Charges were brought against the developer for animal cruelty and failure to act sooner.  Those charges were dropped, but in the interim the buildings were retrofitted in response to the charges and in the intervening period fatalities have decreased dramatically according to Bird Canada.

“There are simple and effective measures to prevent many of the estimated one million bird deaths that occur from collisions with buildings in Toronto alone,” said  Caroline Schultz, executive director at Ontario Nature. “Preserving migratory birds  will benefit all Ontarians — from the free pest control services they provide in our  forests to the direct economic benefit of the birding industry, Canada’s second-biggest outdoorleisure activity.”

Toronto has long been a leader in urban bird initiatives, creating Bird-Friendly Development guidelines in 2007 and requiring all new buildings built since January of 2010 to include measures to reduce bird strikes.

Learn more about FLAP here, and follow them on Facebook here.

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Nate Swick

Nate Swick

Editor, Social Media Manager at American Birding Association
Nate Swick is the editor of the American Birding Association Blog, social media manager for the ABA, and the host of the American Birding Podcast. He lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Danielle, and two young children. He is the author of Birding for the Curious and The ABA Field Guide to Birds of the Carolinas.
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