Pyrotechnics send animals’ heart rates soaring, triggering a panic response and a desire to flee, says Prof Claudia Wascher
They’re a staple of our New Year’s Eve celebrations, but do firework displays harm wildlife – and should they be cancelled? I asked Prof Claudia Wascher, whose research explored the impact of 31 December on birds.
Arguments about fireworks have been raging for years, usually between someone whose pet is upset and someone who thinks that person is a killjoy. Yet there’s little science. Why?
I assume it’s because fireworks happen at night, so it is difficult to study wild animals then. Also, researchers are off enjoying New Year’s Eve, too.