Communication towers kill about 6.8 million birds every year

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Every year more than 6 million birds die as they migrate from the United States and Canada to Central and South America, according to a new USC study published April 25 in journal PLoS ONE.

“This is a tragedy that does not have to be,” said lead author, Travis Longcore, an associate professor in the USC Spatial Sciences Institute in the USC Dornsife Collage of Letters, Arts and Sciences.

The birds are killed by the 84,000 communication towers that dot North America and can rise nearly 2,000 feet into the sky, according to the authors of “An Estimate of Avian Mortality at Communication Towers in the United States and Canada.”

In contrast, the Exxon Valdez oil spill killed 250,000 birds total and the Empire State building is 1,250 feet high.

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