Light Pollution ~ Impacts Beyond Invertebrates

Coastal Light Pollution © Grace Miller @gracemiller_photography

It’s not just insects, almost every species studied shows an impact when exposed to artificial light.

🐦 Birds are also vulnerable to artificial light, causing them to fly toward lit areas. Research shows more birds migrating over urban compared to rural areas, this deviation could have a significant impact on energy levels and lead them to stop in suboptimal habitats.

🦇 Artificial lighting can cause many problems for bats, including disrupting their roosting and feeding behaviour and their movement through the landscape; in the worst cases, causing direct harm. As all bats in the UK feed on insects the loss of food sources is also a considerable threat.

🐟 Skyglow-like light levels can affect melatonin production in freshwater fish and more generally impact freshwater ecosystems.

🌊 Artificial light is causing a biological response across nearly 2 million square kilometres of ocean.

🦀 Marine species like crabs and zooplankton are attracted to artificial lights near the shore from ports or gas facilities, which can disrupt feeding and life cycles.

🌳 Artificial lighting has been linked with trees bursting their buds more than a week earlier — a magnitude similar to that predicted for 2°C of global warming.

🐁 Hedgehogs and other mammals avoid lighting, limiting their movement in areas of high artificial light.

🐸 Light Pollution has been identified as a serious threat in areas containing reptiles and is having a detrimental effect on amphibian populations including frogs and toads.

Nurture the Night Shift