Impacts on Wildlife and Environment

“In the light of current knowledge there is enough evidence of serious effects from this technology to wildlife. For this reason precautionary measures should be developed, alongside environmental impact assessments prior to installation, and a ban on installation of phone masts in protected natural areas and in places where endangered species are present. Surveys should take place to objectively assess the severity of effects.” – Alfonso Balmori, Institute for the Environment (Consejería de Medio Ambiente),  Castilla   y León, Spain

Many studies show that cell towers do significant damage to wildlife and to the environment. They cause:

  • abrupt declines in pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, because the radiation confuses their navigation; Birds also suffer from this effect.
  • decreased milk production and spontaneous abortions in dairy cows, as well as health problems in sheep, dogs, cats and rabbits living near towers;
  • the death of approximately 6.8 million birds in North America every year because they crash into them.

Here are some of findings by leading authorities:

According to the Bedford Audubon Society: Cell towers often pose a serious hazard to migrating birds. These journeys are already long and arduous. The increasing number of communication towers is an added, deadly obstacle course. Many migrating birds crash into the towers or their supporting structures and are killed.

According to the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, cell towers cause:report on impacts

  • Bird and bat mortality by crashing into them
  • Habitat loss/modification
  • Interior forest, grassland habitat loss
  • Reduced nesting/breeding
  • Loss of population
  • Habitat and site abandonment
  • Effects on behavior including stress
  • Disturbance, avoidance, displacement, habitat unsuitability

“The review of existing literature shows that the EMRs are interfering with the biological systems in more ways than one and there had already been some warning bells sounded in the case on bees and birds, which probably heralds the seriousness of this issue and indicates the vulnerability of other species as well.  There is an urgent need to focus more scientific attention to this area before it would be too late.” – Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India (2010)