Environmental

Save our biodiversity

Increasingly scientists are understanding the negative impact light has on pollination, nocturnal, migratory and reproductive behaviours in birds, mammals, insects and plants.

 

“The introduction of artificial light probably represents the most drastic change

human beings have made to their environment.”

 

For billions of years, life on Earth has relied upon predictable rhythm of day and night - circadian rhythm. It’s encoded in the DNA of all plants and animals. Humans have radically disrupted this cycle by lighting up the night environment.

To address the conservation challenge to threatened species migratory behaviours disrupted by artificial light,, the Federal governments Department of the Environment and Energy has developed the National Light Pollution Guidelines for Wildlife including Marine Turtles, Seabirds and Migratory Shorebirds. These Guidelines aim to raise awareness of the potential impacts of artificial light on wildlife and provide a framework for assessing and managing these impacts around susceptible listed wildlife.

Dr Karen Arthur Webinar Presentation -  National Light Pollution Guidelines 

Here are some effects of artificial lights in the natural environment:

Turning night into day. Nocturnal animals sleep during the day and are active at night. Inclusion of light at night changes these predatory behaviours.

Amphibians such as frogs and toads rely on croaking as part of the breeding ritual. Disruption by light interferes with reproduction with the result of reducing populations.

Sea turtles live in the ocean but hatch at night on the beach. Hatchlings find the sea by detecting the bright horizon over the ocean. Exhausted and unable to find the ocean, due to seaside lights, millions of hatchlings die this way every year.

Sea birds wander off course and toward the dangerous nighttime city landscapes. Every year millions of birds die colliding with buildings and towers lit and may migrate too early or too late and miss ideal climate conditions for nesting, foraging and other behaviours.

Like moth to a flame, we know that insects are attracted to light. The introduction of light into an area not only deters insects from their pollination processes. The result is a reduction in food yields as high as 13%.

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