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Global Light Pollution Is Affecting Ecosystems—What Can We Do?

March 19, 2020 |

This article was originally published on UNEP.

“For hundreds of millions of years, the web of life on land has been dependent on, and determined by, day and night, light and dark. Photosynthesis, the process by which plants grow, depends on light and dark. And all animals depend on plants for their survival.

One of the less frequently reported impacts of human activity on the environment is the presence of artificial light. Lighting disrupts photosynthesis and the activities of insects, birds and other animals.

A recent study, Light pollution is a driver of insect declines, says habitat loss, pesticide use, invasive species and climate change have all played a role in insect declines globally, but that artificial light at night is another important—but often overlooked—cause.

…Artificial light not only impacts insects. Turtles, seabirds and shorebirds, and ecosystems at large, are being affected.

New proposed guidelines drafted by the Government of Australia provide a framework for assessing and managing the impact of artificial light on susceptible wildlife, including migratory species. For example, they consider wildlife-friendly lighting design and the management of light sources near protected wildlife.”

Read on at: UNEP

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