In recent years, there has been an increasing awareness leading up to New Year’s Eve of the impact fireworks can have on dogs and cats, as the loud noises and flashes of light can be very distressing. But fireworks can also have a big impact on local wildlife.
Luckily there are a number of alternatives to fireworks that create exciting displays without disturbing nearby creatures. Quiet fireworks are now on the market, offering a like-to-like show without the bangs and crashes. For the more adventurous, laser displays and drones are becoming more popular for a bit of technological pizzazz. Or, for something a little more low key and little-people friendly, sparklers are a festive favourite that, if disposed of properly, provide a interactive show without affecting any wildlife.
But why are these alternative options necessary? As spectacular and exciting as fireworks are, they unfortunately can have a negative impact on wild animals, as they do for many domestic pets. The loud noises can scare birds from their nests, or send animals like horses and deer into a panic. It is worth remembering that many animals have much more acute hearing than humans, so are much more sensitive to the bangs.
As well as the noise pollution, the smoke from fireworks is damaging for wildlife to breathe, and debris left on the ground can be mistaken for food, as well as land in nests and ponds.
Whatever you decide to do on December 31st, spare a moment to think about how you can help nearby wildlife have a happy new year as well.