WINNIPEG, MB. - When you drive around the city, it's not hard to see the development of more high-rise buildings in Winnipeg. These buildings have an impact on the declining migratory bird population in Winnipeg and Western Canada.
Councillor Kevin Klein (Charelswood-Tuxedo-Westwood) recognized the concern and began researching best practices in other Western Canadian cities. Klein's work resulted in a motion at PP & D Standing Policy Committee to direct the Public Service to develop Bird Friendly Design Guidelines.
Data collected in Western Canada and on research gathered from global sources on bird mortality in relation to the built environment, approximately 1,400 bird species are found in North America, 250 of which are migratory. Canada is home to over 600 species. These populations are considered increasingly threatened.
Building strikes may account for at least 97 million deaths each year. In comparison, the U.S. National Wind Coordinating Committee estimates that nation-wide, there are 60 million to 80 million annual bird deaths caused by automobiles, 4 million to 50 million fatal yearly encounters with communications towers, and 7,000 wind turbine bird fatalities annually.
Today, many architects already include bird-friendly design elements, and many cities have guidelines, Winnipeg does not.
Klein requested that the Public Service prepare Bird Friendly Design Guidelines based on other jurisdictions' work, thus saving resources and money in developing a new approach.
The committee unanimously approved the motion. The Public Service will report back with suggested guidelines in 120 days.