UTRGV: Shut Off Your Lights and Save Bird Lives

UTRGV: Shut Off Your Lights and Save Bird Lives

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Katie Lavallee started this petition to University of Texas - Rio Grande Valley

In the USA, bird mortality from building collisions amounts to at least 1 BILLION birds every single year (npr.org)! A large part of these deaths are due to light pollution unnecessarily emitted from buildings, especially at night when not in use. Light pollution disorients and confuse birds in flight, luring them into dangerous territory dominated by large structures that they can strike. The majority of birds, including songbirds you might be most familiar with, migrate across the continent and through the Rio Grande Valley, TX, migrate at night (darksky.org). 

In Galveston Texas, a single skyscraper was the cause of almost 400 bird deaths in only one week. But after citizen action, the building has reduced their light pollution and the city is taking proactive steps forward to prevent these devasting losses.

RGV, we can do that too! 

These death rates can be reduced up to 80% by simply turning off the lights of buildings (SFEnvironment.org). Not only can we save lives, but we can also save money and non-renewable resources by turning off the lights. #LightsOffCornell campaign at Cornell University calculated it's potential electricity savings to add up to $60,000/annually by simply turning off the lights when not in use, and UTRGV can do the same! 

98.5% of documented migratory bird species have been recorded in Texas, and at the southernmost tip of Texas, the RGV is the port of the Central Flyway  (tpwd.texas.gov). The valley is a biodiversity hotspot where eco-tourism, driven by the 600+ bird species, supports our local economy. 

The birds that share our home in the RGV are embedded in our heritage, symbolize our culture, share joy in our recreation outdoors, and so much more.
They share their song with us, so share your voice for them. 

As ambassadors of the RGV, we ask that the UTRGV campuses make a simple change for a large resolution. Turn off lights at night - save millions of lives! 

As students, faculty, staff, and community members of the RGV, please sign this petition to voice your concern about migratory bird safety.  

Thank-you!

Learn more:

Light pollution is greatest within migration passage areas for nocturnally-migrating birds around the world

Effect of anthropogenic light on bird movement, habitat selection, and distribution: a systematic map protocol

 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,500!
At 1,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!