Protect Millions of Migratory Birds

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Originally Posted: 4 May 2011

Protect Millions of Migratory Birds

FROM  Defenders of Wildlife


Send your message by 3:00 PM (Eastern) Thursday, May 5th to ensure your comments are submitted before the deadline!

The FCC needs to hear from you. Please write the commissioners today and urge them to adopt these historic rules to prevent the deaths of millions of migratory birds.

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Each year, an estimated 5 million birds meet an untimely death as they collide with communications towers and other structures -- including at least 230 species like cerulean warblers, black rails and other species in decline.

For more than a decade, we've been working to reduce needless deaths of migratory birds from communications structures. Now the FCC has finally proposed new rules for the Antenna Structure Registration -- based largely on the recommendations of Defenders and our partners.


Re: Birds and Towers (WT Docket Nos. 0861 and 03187)

As someone who cares about migratory birds, I am writing today to urge the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to adopt proposed rules that will help greatly reduce the number of bird deaths caused by tower structures regulated by the FCC.

According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, each year an estimated 5 million birds are killed from collisions with communications towers and related structures across the United States.

Around 230 species of birds -- over one-quarter of all avian species found in the U.S. -- have been documented as being killed by towers. At least 44 of these species are designated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as Birds of Conservation Concern. These are species that without conservation action are likely to be added to the list of Endangered Species. Research has demonstrated that for some of these species collisions with towers are having an effect on populations of birds.

The proposed rules (WT Docket Nos. 0861 and 03187; DA 11558) require public notice of all proposed towers. While the FCC considers broader changes to the program, environmental assessments would be required at least for all towers over 450 feet to ensure that the environmental effects of these towers are fully considered before the structures are approved and built.

These rules are based in part on recommendations from a partnership among Defenders, American Bird Conservancy, National Audubon Society and the communications industry to address the threat of towers and other communications structures to millions of birds through the FCC's tower registration process.

The proposed rules will help FCC to comply with federal laws -- including the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act -- that require the Commission to adopt measures to prevent, or at least minimize, bird fatalities caused by FCC registered antenna structures.

Please quickly adopt these rules that safely reduce further bird deaths from antennas and structures regulated by the FCC.

Thank you for your consideration....

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