The global animal vaccines industry is likely to generate annual revenue of $15.2 billion by 2030, according to a new research report.
That’s compared with just over $9 billion in 2020, suggesting a compound annual growth rate of 5.2 percent, according to Allied Market Research, which produced the report.
Factors driving growth in the market include rising popularity of pet insurance, a rise in the prevalence of animal diseases, a surge in expenditures for animal health, and an increase in ownership of companion animals, according to the firm.
The livestock animal segment accounted for nearly two-thirds of the global animal vaccines market in 2020, and is projected to maintain its leadership status based on revenue by 2030.
However, the companion animal segment is expected to have a higher compound annual growth rate — around 5.5 percent — from 2020 to 2030.
“The increase in awareness regarding medical illnesses and ailments of companion animals and growth in animal healthcare expenditure worldwide drive the growth of the segment,” according to Allied Market Research.
Does a lifetime of digging in the dirt (building soil!) sound like an enticing career goal? If so, we just may have the solution to your post-pandemic career blues.
Next month the critically acclaimed Organic Farm School begins accepting applications for one of the most intensive training programs in the country. Situated on a rural island in the Pacific Northwest, the 10-acre, solar-powered farm is certified organic and offers its experiential training program from April through October. Next year's class will be selected by December 2021.
The program provides practical and comprehensive education in small-scale organic farming. Guided by experienced farmer-instructors, trainees learn through hands-on management of the farm, plus regular observation walks, field trips, and classroom studies (both in person and virtual).
Participants are from 21 to over 60 years old, many transitioning from past careers ranging from finance to medicine to education. One graduate was even destined to become a professional athlete, but instead answered the call to become a farmer.
The curriculum is designed for aspiring farmers who envision themselves owning or managing a small organic farm. Trainees grow vegetables, seed crops and cover-crops as well as pastured poultry, sheep and pigs. They then sell farm products to the community through a CSA program, a farmer's market, local grocers and a weekly farm stand. The classroom work focuses on crop and livestock production, business planning, and direct marketing.
A wide range of practical skills taught include basic mechanics and carpentry, how to use small and large equipment, greenhouse propagation, as well as planting, weeding, harvesting, marketing, and record keeping. Personal one-on-one coaching includes creation of a farm business plan where professional dreams are fully explored.
Increasingly, post-grad opportunities include farm incubator sites, farm worker jobs and modest land leases. Tuition for the seven-month program is $5,000. However, no one should forego applying because of financial need, as the school has established a student-support fund. To apply visit organicfarmschool.org.
Manna Pro Products, a St. Louis-based maker of pet care and nutrition products, has agreed to acquire Dinovite Inc., a 20-year-old family-owned online pet brand that offers whole food supplements and wellness products for dogs and cats.
“Dinovite is a strong brand in the direct-to-consumer channel, and its category-leading customer service and commitment to happy, healthy lives for pets aligns with Manna Pro’s mission of Nurturing Life,” said John Howe, CEO of Manna Pro. “Over the last 20 years, Dinovite has built an incredibly loyal base of pet parents who have come to trust the brand’s unique supplement blends that combine the highest quality ingredients with a 100% money back guarantee.”
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The acquisition of Dinovite follows several Manna Pro acquisitions of online-focused brands in the past year and “signals the company’s omnichannel transformation and acceleration,” according to a press release.
“We are excited to join Manna Pro’s portfolio of outstanding brands and have been impressed with their strategy to expand their reach through direct-to-consumer businesses,” said J.B. Kropp, president of Dinovite. “Their help and resources will enable us to continue to be able to offer the best products to our customers while expanding our catalog to include several of Manna Pro’s brands.”
“The heritage and culture of Manna Pro and their commitment to our brands, employees and location made them the right choice for continuing to grow the business that has been our passion for the past 20 years,” said Ed Lukacevic and Cindy Lukacevic, Dinovite founders and owners.
Manna Pro is owned by funds managed by global investment firm Carlyle.
A 4-H student presenting a project at the Kansas State Fair has inadvertently triggered a state and federal investigation into a nasty, unwelcome bug.
Known as the spotted lanternfly, the Asian bug secretes a sticky substance that can prevent plants and trees from performing photosynthesis. In many cases, it ends up killing the plant.
It loves to feed on woody, fruit and ornamental trees.
The student found the bug in Thomas County in western Kansas and included it in a 4-H entomology display.
One of the judges recognized the bug species, which the student had correctly identified and labeled, and knew that he needed to notify the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
The Kansas Department of Agriculture will lead the investigation.
“This does happen occasionally where we’ll see information about an insect and we’ll do some investigation and find out if there's anything to indicate that there’s a real problem,” said Kansas Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Heather Lansdowne.
The invasive bug appeared in Pennsylvania in 2014. Because the bug is a good hitchhiker, there are now at least 45 counties in Pennsylvania and New Jersey with quarantine orders.
That means people in those areas have to follow a checklist before moving cars or recreational vehicles outside of the area. The order has them check for signs of the bugs or their eggs.
The bug is native to China and it is suspected to have arrived in the U.S. on a container ship.
This year’s outbreak in Pennsylvania has been particularly bad. State agriculture officials told NPR earlier this year that if they ever see the bug they should, "Kill it! Squash it, smash it. ... Just get rid of it."
The threat of an established population appears to be mostly contained to states in the Northeast. The bug found in Kansas likely got there by hitching a ride on an RV or other vehicle, said Lansdowne. Interstate 70 runs through Thomas County.
“There’s not a reason to be alarmed at this point,” Lansdowne said. “It was one insect that was found and it’s no longer alive.”
Ten thousand years after woolly mammoths vanished from the face of the Earth, scientists are embarking on an ambitious project to bring the beasts back to the Arctic tundra. The prospect of recreating mammoths and returning them to the wild has been discussed – seriously at times – for more than a decade, but on Monday researchers announced fresh funding they believe could make their dream a reality. The boost comes in the form of $15m (£11m) raised by the bioscience and genetics company Colossal, co-founded by Ben Lamm, a tech and software entrepreneur, and George Church, a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School who has pioneered new approaches to gene editing.
The scientists have set their initial sights on creating an elephant-mammoth hybrid by making embryos in the laboratory that carry mammoth DNA. The starting point for the project involves taking skin cells from Asian elephants, which are threatened with extinction, and reprogramming them into more versatile stem cells that carry mammoth DNA. The particular genes that are responsible for mammoth hair, insulating fat layers and other cold climate adaptions are identified by comparing mammoth genomes extracted from animals recovered from the permafrost with those from the related Asian elephants.
These embryos would then be carried to term in a surrogate mother or potentially in an artificial womb. If all goes to plan – and the hurdles are far from trivial – the researchers hope to have their first set of calves in six years. “Our goal is to make a cold-resistant elephant, but it is going to look and behave like a mammoth. Not because we are trying to trick anybody, but because we want something that is functionally equivalent to the mammoth, that will enjoy its time at -40C, and do all the things that elephants and mammoths do, in particular knocking down trees,” Church told the Guardian. The project is framed as an effort to help conserve Asian elephants by equipping them with traits that allow them to thrive in vast stretches of the Arctic known as the mammoth steppe. But the scientists also believe introducing herds of elephant-mammoth hybrids to the Arctic tundra may help restore the degraded habitat and combat some of the impacts of the climate crisis. For example, by knocking down trees, the beasts might help to restore the former Arctic grasslands.
Not all scientists suspect that creating mammoth-like animals in the lab is the most effective way to restore the tundra. “My personal thinking is that the justifications given – the idea that you could geoengineer the Arctic environment using a herd of mammoths – isn’t plausible,” said Dr Victoria Herridge, an evolutionary biologist at the Natural History Museum. “The scale at which you’d have to do this experiment is enormous. You are talking about hundreds of thousands of mammoths which each take 22 months to gestate and 30 years to grow to maturity.” Lamm said: “Our goal isn’t just to bring back the mammoth, but to bring back interbreedable herds that are successfully rewilded back into the Arctic region.” Whether Asian elephants would want to breed with the hybrids is, for now, unknown. “We might have to give them a little shave,” said Church.
Gareth Phoenix, a professor of plant and global change ecology at the University of Sheffield, said: “While we do need a multitude of different approaches to stop climate change, we also need to initiate solutions responsibly to avoid unintended damaging consequences. That’s a huge challenge in the vast Arctic where you have different ecosystems existing under different environmental conditions. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Lately, there has been a lot of talk about aliens. Video footage recently came out of Navy pilots encountering UFOs, which led to the release of an intelligence report on their existence. That report revealed that there have indeed been sightings of unidentified flying objects, but the government did not conclude that the aircrafts are extraterrestrial in nature.
However, some researchers now think that not only do aliens exist, but they they might be among us, and you may have even seen some at your local zoo. That's because scientists have discovered evidence that penguins could actually be extraterrestrial beings.
The experts learned that in the penguins poop are traces of a chemical called phosphine. That seems like no big deal, except that the only other place where phosphine exists is 38 million miles away, in the atmosphere of the planet Venus.
Dr. Dave Clements of the Imperial College London, one of the researchers, told The Daily Star, "We've reprocessed the data and we're pretty convinced that the phosphine finding is real, but we don't know what's making it." He went one to describe their challenges, saying, "It’s very hard to measure and study because if you let oxygen in, it destroys it." Dr. Clements added, "We would really like to study the penguin guano to understand the biology, but it's quite hard for astronomers to get a grant proposal to go and play with penguins, so we're trying to navigate through interdisciplinary fields."
One tool that might help the experts is the James Webb space telescope, a joint venture between NASA as well as the European and Canadian space agencies, which will search space for chemical signatures of alien life on other planets. That is expected to launch in December.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that wolves in the Northern Rockies may warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act. The decision comes in response to an emergency petition from the Center for Biological Diversity, the Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society Legislative Fund and Sierra Club. The decision begins a formal status review of gray wolves across the western United States. While the Fish and Wildlife Service did not immediately restore wolf protection on an emergency basis as the petition requested, the agency determined that protecting the species in the northern Rockies or across the western United States may be warranted based largely on new laws in Idaho and Montana that authorize the widespread killing of wolves. Numerous Tribal nations are also calling for the emergency relisting of gray wolves and for the Biden administration to honor treaty and trust obligations that require consultation with the Tribes on protection and management of gray wolves. “I’m hopeful that wolves will eventually get the protection they deserve, but the Fish and Wildlife Service should have stopped the wolf-killing now,” said Andrea Zaccardi, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Anti-wolf policies in Idaho and Montana could wipe out wolves and erase decades of wolf recovery. We’re glad that federal officials have started a review, but wolves are under the gun now so they need protection right away.” “We’re glad the Service has taken this important first step toward restoring the federal protections that Idaho and Montana’s wolves desperately need, but it isn’t enough,” said Nicholas Arrivo, managing attorney for wildlife at the Humane Society of the United States. “Wolves simply cannot afford to be exposed to months of cruel and wanton slaughter while the Service completes its review. Without an emergency relisting now, there may not be much of a population left to protect when the process is complete.” “Wednesday’s decision by the Service is a step toward recognizing serious new threats to wolves from hostile state management policies, but it falls short in granting the emergency protection that wolves need right now,” said Bonnie Rice, senior representative with Sierra Club’s Our Wild America campaign. “The goal of Montana and Idaho’s extreme new laws is to decimate wolf populations in the northern Rockies. It makes no sense to allow wolves to be driven back to the brink of extinction and reverse over 40 years of wolf recovery efforts. “The announcement from the Biden administration to follow the science showing that gray wolves in the Northern Rockies need federal protections as mandated under the Endangered Species Act is the right decision,” said Tracie Letterman, vice president of federal affairs at the Humane Society Legislative Fund. “We are hopeful this will lead to full protections for this important population, and in the meantime strongly encourage the administration to protect these vulnerable wolves through an emergency relisting.” Idaho’s new laws took effect July 1. Montana’s general wolf-hunting season began this week. Trapping for wolves in Montana will begin two weeks earlier this year, on Nov. 29, and extend two weeks later to March 15 as a result of the new law. Idaho’s new law could wipe out up to 90% of the state’s wolf population. It calls for private contractors to kill wolves, allows hunters and trappers to kill an unlimited number of wolves, and permits trapping year-round on private lands across the state. People can also chase wolves with hounds or run them over with all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles. Montana’s new laws risk the killing of approximately 85% of the state’s wolf population. They permit the use of strangulation snares, night hunting and bait to hunt and trap wolves. Hunters and trappers can kill up to 10 wolves each and can be reimbursed for their expenses killing wolves through a new bounty program. While Montana previously set strict quotas outside Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks to limit killing of park wolves, those quotas have been eliminated.
The Endangered Species Act requires that the Service make a final decision within one year of the May 26, 2021, petition.
With health experts steering travelers toward outdoor destinations and activities during the pandemic, US national parks have been a natural magnet. More proof of that came in Tuesday.
Yellowstone National Park set a record for visits in August, the National Park Service said in a news release.
The park hosted 921,844 recreation visits last month -- the equivalent of almost the entire population of Austin, Texas, visiting there. And it was a 4.5% increase compared with August 2020.
Park officials say the previous record for August was set in 2017, when people flocked to Yellowstone to witness that year's epic solar eclipse.
Through the end of August this year, Yellowstone saw 3,590,904 visits.
That's on track for a yearly record and a 40% increase over 2020, when the park was affected by pandemic travel restrictions and briefly closed.
An influx of visitors is forcing Arches National Park in Utah to temporarily shut its gates almost daily. And disappointed visitors aren't the only consequence of overcrowding. The National Park Service is anticipating one of its busiest summers on record, so Arches won't be the only popular park where crowds could be an issue. CNN's Lucy Kafanov reports.
This news comes as no surprise to folks who have been part of the huge waves trying to gain entrance to popular national parks all summer.
Along with others across the country, Arches National Park in Utah saw such huge influxes earlier this summer that it had to temporarily close its gates on numerous days.
In fact, Arches still warns potential visitors that "parking lots at trailheads may fill before 9 a.m., causing the park to temporarily restrict access until congestion lessens." Its website said restricted access can last from three to five hours.
The National Park Service says you shouldn't count on the crowds thinning out too much for autumn, either.
If you plan to enjoy Yellowstone this fall, the NPS said you should make plans well ahead of time and be ready share the space with other travelers. A few things to keep in mind as you plan a trip to Yellowstone, or other national parks for that matter:
-- Most camping and lodging reservations are already taken, and motel spaces could be hours away.
-- Also, it's been a very dry season out West. In fact, much of Sequoia National Park in California is closed because of two wildfires. Stay alert for wildfire news as you plan your trip to Yellowstone or other parks out West. Also be a mindful caretaker of your campfires, if they're allowed.
-- More people means more potential wildlife encounters gone bad. The NPS says keep a minimum of 25 yards (23 meters) from all wildlife and 100 yards (91 meters) from bears and wolves.
The Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE), an international consortium of conservation groups, is launching a $12-million, five-year initiative that aims to direct funding to endangered species that are at serious risk of extinction. The effort will focus on effectively conserving AZE-designated sites, which have been identified as places that hold the last-remaining populations of Earth’s most threatened plants and animals, such as the Anosy Mouse Lemur of Madagascar, the Thorny Tree Frog of Vietnam, and the Araripe Manakin and Lear’s Macaw, found only in Brazil.
“Protecting or otherwise conserving these sites is essential to preventing species extinctions,” says Mike Parr, Chair of AZE and President of American Bird Conservancy (ABC). “The sole populations of Earth’s most endangered species are found in 853 AZE sites globally — an area covering less than 0.2 percent of the globe.”
Contributing the initial $10 million to this initiative, Rainforest Trust seeks to expand protection of these important sites for biodiversity. “There has never been a better nor more urgent time to save these species from extinction,” says James Lewis, Vice President of Conservation at Rainforest Trust. “Resources are being mobilized and governments are making commitments to biodiversity conservation at the World Conservation Congress and Convention on Biological Diversity. There is a particular focus on protected areas right now with inspiring initiatives such as 30x30, a commitment by governments to protect 30 percent of their land and seas by 2030. These efforts are absolutely critical for our planet's wellbeing, and we must ensure that AZE sites are seen as a top priority.”
AZE sites are a subset of Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) that are urgently in need of effective conservation to prevent species extinctions. A recent study showed the effectiveness of protecting AZE sites to avoid extinctions. However, 36 percent of AZE sites remain completely uncovered by protected areas — despite evidence that creation and management of protected areas for ultra-rare species is the conservation action most critical to reducing extinction risk.
Many organizations and institutions have made great strides in protecting AZE species over the past few years. The AZE initiative seeks to expand the effective conservation of AZE sites globally, through protected-area establishment, Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures (OECMs) declaration, or other means.
“This pledge to direct $12 million towards AZE sites demonstrates the critical value of global partnerships,” says Lewis. “We hope in the coming months to grow this commitment and engage the global community in effectively protecting these sites. This is a clear call to action, to communities, conservationists, governments, and global funders — we have an incredible opportunity to turn the table for these species, so let's not lose it.”
Dogs diagnosed with a rapidly metastatic form of oral cancer may soon have access to a novel alternative treatment, thanks to a newly launched clinical trial.
Three investigation sites in the U.S. are now testing an immunotherapy treatment, created by ELIAS Animal Health, for dogs afflicted with oral malignant melanoma, a highly metastatic disease and the most common form of oral cancer observed in canines. The clinical trial will enroll dogs that have been newly diagnosed, but have not yet received treatment for the cancer. It is a multi-center, single-arm study with no randomization, ELIAS says.
Designed as an alternative to chemotherapy, the patented treatment, dubbed ELIAS cancer immunotherapy (ECI), involves the postsurgical administration of an individualized vaccine created using a patient’s own cancer-specific “killer” T cells.
Melanoma is widely believed to be chemo-resistant, ELIAS reports. Previous clinical trials of ECI have shown successful application for dogs diagnosed with osteosarcoma.
“We are thrilled to announce the launch of the next clinical study, which will evaluate the adoptive T-cell therapy in a second form of cancer,” says ELIAS Animal Health’s CEO, Tammie Wahaus. “Building on the promising results reported last year for our initial osteosarcoma study and completion of enrollment in our pivotal osteosarcoma study, we look forward to expanding our portfolio to treat more dogs affected by cancer.”
The objective of the clinical trial is to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the immunotherapy compared to historical control data obtained using surgery alone or surgery plus radiotherapy, ELIAS reports. Patients will also be evaluated for quality of life throughout the study.
When given the choice between a readily available meal and one that requires a bit of effort, cats tend to take the easy route.
This is according to a recent study conducted at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis). Researchers looked at a group of 17 domestic house cats to learn more about their tendency to contrafreeload (i.e. work for food when equivalent food is freely available).
While a previously conducted study suggested cats were unlikely to forage in this way, investigators theorized that, like most other animals, house cats “would contrafreeload in the home environment when given a choice between a food puzzle and a tray of similar size and shape.”
“There is an entire body of research that shows most species, including birds, rodents, wolves, primates—even giraffes—prefer to work for their food,” says the study’s lead author Mikel Delgado, PhD, a cat behaviorist and research affiliate at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.
Per the study, feline participants were presented with a free food tray and a food puzzle, each containing an equal amount of their regular diet. The puzzle allowed the cats to easily see the food, but required some manipulation to extract it. Cat owners recorded two to four trials per day over the course of three to four days.
The results classified four participants as “willing to contrafreeload;” however, as no cats consumed more food from the puzzle as compared to the free food tray, none were considered strong contrafreeloaders.
“It wasn’t that cats never used the food puzzle, but cats ate more food from the tray, spent more time at the tray, and made more first choices to approach and eat from the tray rather than the puzzle,” Dr. Delgado says.
While the reason why cats prefer freeloading is unclear, researchers do not attribute the behavior to laziness, adding that feline participants wore activity monitors and that even those that were more active opted to eat freely available food.
Additionally, Delgado says the findings should not be interpreted as a dismissal of food puzzles, as previous research shows these can be an important enrichment activity for cats.
The study, which was co-authored by Delgado and Melissa Bain, DVM, MS, DACVB, DACAW, and Brandon Han of UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine has been published in Animal Cognition.
Cats befriended by children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) get as much out of the relationship as their human companions. This is according to a newly conducted study, funded by the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) and the EveryCat Health Foundation. The research, which was led by a team from the University of Missouri (MU), built on previously published findings that explored the emotional, behavioral, and social benefits of shelter cats on families of children with ASD. The new study focused on the feline experience of these adoptions.
“It’s not only important to examine how families of children with autism may benefit from these wonderful companion animals, but also if the relationship is stressful or burdensome for the shelter cats being adopted into a new and perhaps unpredictable environment,” says Gretchen Carlisle, PhD, MEd, RN, research scientist at the University of Missouri Research Center for Human Animal Interaction (ReCHAI). “In our study, we found the cats acclimated well to their new families and became significantly less stressed over time.”
The study worked with shelter cats identified as having a laid-back disposition per the Feline Temperament Profile. The cats were monitored for a period of 18 weeks after being adopted by a family with at least one child with ASD. Researchers made home visits to check on the cats two to three days after placement to see how the animals acclimated to their newly adopted families, then every six weeks for 18 weeks.
“Cortisol is a stress measure we tracked through collecting samples of the cats’ feces, and we noticed a significant decrease in cortisol over time,” Dr. Carlisle says. “Cats also tend to lose weight due to not eating if they are stressed, but we found the cats actually gained a bit of weight initially after adoption and then maintained their weight as time went on, so both findings indicated the cats acclimated well.”
Children with ASD may have sensitivity or sensory issues, as well as occasional behaviors accompanied by loud, sudden outbursts, Carlisle says. For this reason, shelter cats screened as having a calm temperament may increase the likelihood of a better long-term match for both the children and the cat.
“It’s crucial to look after the welfare of the cats from a humanitarian standpoint, and this research also helps animal shelter staff overcome the financial and management hurdles that can result when cats are returned to shelters if there is not a good fit with the adopted family,” she says. “Obviously, the shelters want to place all their cats in homes, but some families may require a more specific fit, and using research-based, objective measurements for screening temperament may help increase the likelihood of successful, long-term matches.”
“Our hope is that other scientists will build on the work of our exploratory study so shelter cats and families of children with autism might benefit,” Carlisle adds. The study, titled, “Exploratory study of fecal cortisol, weight, and behavior as measures of stress and welfare in shelter cats during assimilation into families of children with autism spectrum disorder,” has been published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science.
"GlobalVetLink knows every veterinarian wants to feel confident doing what they do best, which is delivering a broad range of services to their clients," stated Gary Ambrosino, CEO of GlobalVetLink. "The GVL Pet TravelPass eliminates the hours of research and preparation required to create accurate and compliant International Health Certificates for owners traveling with their pets. Our new Pet TravelPass automates this process and gives veterinary practices a new and profitable service to offer to pet owners."
The GVL Pet TravelPass is an expansion of the GlobalVetLink's Compliance Assistant SaaS platform used by over 10,000 veterinary practices for creation, and electronic submission of compliant health records for companion, production, and equine focused practices. GVL Pet TravelPass automates regulatory research with built-in intelligent rule checking on a country-by-country basis. This replaces time consuming manual research processes and eliminates mistakes that prevent many veterinary practices from offering international pet travel documentation services.
A simple step-by-step workflow collects basic information supplied by the veterinarian and creates an International Health Certificate (IHC), Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI), and Rabies Vaccination Certificate in submission-ready, government standard format accepted by the USDA and state animal health offices. The GVL Pet TravelPass can be used for meeting both international and domestic travel documentation requirements.
"The GVL Pet TravelPass's ability to streamline the creation of travel documents for dogs and cats is the first product of its kind," stated Matt Keller, VP of Product at GlobalVetLink. "We're excited to simplify what hundreds of veterinarians have told us is a painstaking and nerve racking process that they often avoid, with easy-to-use online software that eliminates time consuming complex paperwork and the need to understand obscure and confusing government regulations."
GVL Pet TravelPass is available now atwww.globalvetlink.com and offers an easy sign-up and get-started process, with no subscription fee or monthly minimums. GlobalVetLink offers unlimited support to practices getting started with Pet TravelPass, as well as a comprehensive library of RACE CE approved training courses through GVL University.
Hundreds of migrating birds died during the night and early morning of September 14 and 15 after colliding with buildings at the World Trade Center complex (WTC) in New York City. American Bird Conservancy (ABC), New York City Audubon, and other partners are already working to engage with managers of the buildings at the WTC complex to remediate their glass, making the area safer for birds.
As many as 1 billion birds die in collisions with glass (i.e. windows, walls) each year in the U.S. Most of these collisions take place during the day, as migrating birds are looking for food to replenish energy reserves and mistake reflections on glass for habitat.
But sometimes a combination of factors creates events like the mass collision at the World Trade Center complex. Because of stormy conditions on Tuesday night, night-migrating songbirds — including the Black-and-white Warbler, Northern Parula, and Ovenbird — flew lower to the ground. It’s likely that they were then attracted by bright artificial lights at the World Trade Center site, which, combined with strong winds, produced mortalities as birds tried to land. Birds that survived the landing collided lethally with glass as the sun rose the next day.
“Glass in the built environment is always dangerous to birds and unfortunately, birds are killed by collisions with glass every day. When bad weather brings birds down and lights bring them in, danger and mortality are increased,” says Dr. Christine Sheppard, ABC's Bird Collisions Campaign Director.
“Turning off unnecessary lights can prevent bird deaths,” says Sheppard. “The problem here was a ‘perfect storm’ — high numbers of birds aloft, a storm bringing them close to the built environment, lights preventing them from navigating. And then glass waiting for them first thing in the morning.
“New York City’s Local Law 15, established in 2020 — requiring that all new buildings follow bird-friendly design guidelines and use bird-friendly glass — will definitely help going forward.”