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Loud Fireworks Affect Wildlife
By Mike Pratt, Director of Wildlife Services
At the West Sound Wildlife Shelter, we’re often asked if fireworks have a detrimental affect on wildlife.
Research studies show that the loud sounds of fireworks do have an affect on wild animals as well as domestic animals.
During times of widespread fireworks use, the West Sound Wildlife Shelter receives an increase in calls from the public relating to wildlife on the roads and wildlife being seen in unusual areas.
The noise from fireworks causes a great amount of fear in wild animals. This fear causes them to flee into roadways which results in more vehicle damage (from large animals such as deer) and more dead animals.
The loud firework explosions also cause panic, confusion, fear, and anxiety in wild animals.
The US Fish & Wildlife Service has documented effects of loud fireworks causing ground nesting birds to abandon their nests and flightless chicks to be permanently separated from their parents during the confusion, resulting in death.
A study at the University of Guelph, Ontario, points out that the panic and disorientation from fireworks noise resulted in birds flying into buildings or too far out to sea. A New York study demonstrated that black ducks in high-noise areas grew slower and had less body weight than those in low-noise areas.
A study examining the impact of sudden loud noise on snow geese found that the birds reduced their feeding time and had less rest and sleep. Over time, these sorts of behaviors no doubt reduce survival rates.