Biologists from Curtin University in Australia have found that even short salvos of fireworks have a long-term negative impact on wildlife. The study was published in the journal Pacific Conservation Biology.
The paper's authors analyzed the environmental effects of Diwali festival celebrations in India, Independence Day in the United States and other events in parts of Europe.
Typically, holidays on which it is customary to set off fireworks coincide with migratory or reproductive periods in wildlife. Consequently, the explosions adversely affect the population, and in the long run. Fireworks also contaminate soil, water and air, with implications for both human and animal health, the scientists noted.
Fireworks at Spanish festivals were found to affect the breeding success of house sparrows, in California they led to reduced colonies of Antarctic blue-eyed cormorants, and in Chile they caused strange breeding behavior by southern sea lions.