May 21-28, 2007

Toronto publishes guidelines for developers to protect migrating birds

TORONTO, ONT-With the release of its new Bird-Friendly Development Guidelines, Toronto now has a two-winged approach to help save the lives of migrating birds. The new guidelines follow the launch last year of the Lights Out Toronto campaign, which calls on Torontonians to turn out unnecessary lighting at night so that birds that become disoriented by city lights will be less likely to collide with buildings. The city's Bird-Friendly Development Guidelines provide information on ways to reduce light pollution and recommend design-based development strategies, such as using non-reflective glass, incorporating visual markers, muting reflections, redesigning ventilation grates and placing internal greenery away from windows. The authors of the guidelines included architects, development corporations, property management corporations, bird advocacy groups and city staff, in addition to the Canadian Wildlife Service, which provided scientific, logistical and financial support for both the guidelines and the Lights Out Toronto campaign. "Our cities are massive obstacles to migrating birds," said architect John Robert Carley, one of the participants. "The implementation of the Bird-Friendly Development Guidelines starts a process to make that migration journey less perilous. Toronto leads the way, and sets a strong precedent for other North American cities to follow," he added. The guidelines may be viewed on-line at www.toronto.ca/lightsout.

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