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April 11, 2006
Mayor launches appeal to save birds
  
Mayor David Miller today launched “Lights Out Toronto,” a public awareness campaign to help save the lives of birds.

Attracted and confused by night-time city lights, migrating birds often crash into high-rise buildings. This global problem is a major cause of overall population decline for many bird species. The City of Toronto, along with wildlife groups, businesses and public sector agencies, asks everyone to turn out unneeded lighting in high-rise buildings, particularly during spring and fall migration.

“I’m pleased to be here on behalf of the City to promote ‘Lights Out Toronto’ with our partner organizations,” said Mayor Miller. “City staff are busy putting forward recommendations that will make our city more bird friendly through such initiatives as green building standards for new developments.”

The City’s ‘Lights Out Toronto’ partners to date include the Fatal Light Awareness Program (FLAP); Toronto Hydro Corporation; Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment Canada; Building Owners and Managers Association of the Greater Toronto Area (BOMA); Toronto Wildlife Centre; Toronto and Region Conservation Authority; Toronto Zoo; The Toronto Ornithological Club; Earth Rangers; Humane Society International; the Toronto Bird Observatory and Toronto Field Naturalists.

David O’Brien, president and CEO of Toronto Hydro Corporation, is a keen supporter of the ‘Lights Out Toronto’ campaign. “We’re setting the tone with our customers for responsible use of electricity. This initiative will allow millions of migratory birds safe passage to their summer habitat in the spring, and wintering grounds in the fall. We encourage all our customers to shut their lights off at night to save birds, electricity and money - all at the same time.”

“FLAP is thrilled that Toronto is the first city in the world to make bird protection official policy,” says Michael Mesure, Executive Director. “We are hopeful that other cities in North America and around the world will follow Toronto’s leadership.”

In addition to turning out lights, the public can help save birds in other ways. FLAP needs volunteers, for a few hours each week, to assist in bird rescue at night, or to drive birds to a rehabilitation centre during the day. Anyone interested should call 416-366-FLAP (3527).

Further information, including details for becoming a donor, is available online at http://www.toronto.ca/lightsout.


Media contacts:

Don Wanagas
Director of Communications
Mayor’s Office
416-338-7134

Richard Bishop
Communications Co-ordinator
City Planning Division
416-392-7597
416-420-4336 (cell)


 

 

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