May 18, 2024

Fireworks: New Year’s Eve fireworks put a constant stress on the wild geese

The research group also found that the animals’ nighttime rest decreased by about two hours. According to the assessments, the animals have slowly recovered from the hardships. Four species of geese have been observed: white-fronted, barnacle, rosy-footed, and bean geese. These are arctic migratory birds that winter in northern Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands. Normally, animals eat or rest throughout the day to use as little energy as possible. But running away on New Year’s Eve costs geese a lot of strength. In order to get this back, they took it easy. They ate 10% more and moved less during the day. “This can lead to problems in harsh winters, when not enough extra food can be found or cannot be eaten quickly enough in the short days,” explains Andrea Kölzsch. The research team also measured air quality: Fine dust pollution over the wild geese’ original resting areas increased by up to 650 percent.

Other animals also suffer on New Year’s Eve. “However, reactions to this disorder are different for different species,” says Andrea Kölzsch. A songbird in the nest box will press against the corner there and compensate for the shock by increasing its heartbeat or jumping a lot back and forth. Wild boar may hide in the bushes. And the wild geese, which naturally flee from danger in the air, will fly away.

Even small explosions on New Year’s Eve would be enough to scare the animals colossally. This could have been demonstrated by assessments carried out over the past two years, where fireworks and fanfare were only possible on a limited scale in many countries. Rather than a general ban, it would make more sense to ban fireworks in the vicinity of national parks, bird sanctuaries, and other important quiet areas, according to the researchers.

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