Tag Archives: Environment

The Turtle’s Tale— Environmental Impacts of Light Pollution

Sue Christie (Northern Ireland Environment Link, Belfast)
Light is used by many animals and plants as a key cue for carrying out important activities such as flowering, migrating or feeding. As artificial light becomes a more prominent feature of their environment, evidence is accumulating of the negative impacts it has on wildlife. Baby turtles hatching on resort beaches head towards the lit-up resort rather than out to sea — and are eaten by predators before they can correct the error. Migrating birds are disoriented, and at worst fly into the ground or buildings as they try to identify the Moon and stars among a multitude of man-made light sources. Moths fly into street lights rather than feed; breeding cycles of butterflies are disrupted; nocturnal animals are gobbled up by predators instead of being hidden in the darkness. Artificial light disturbs the rhythms of insects and birds, leading to far-reaching consequences in ecosystems throughout the world. Continue reading The Turtle’s Tale— Environmental Impacts of Light Pollution