Dark Sky

Dark Sky News

Valuing Darkness Symposium

The Australasian Dark Sky Alliance will be holding a symposium called Valuing Darkness in Melbourne 19 – 21 March 2025. The 3-day program will include a symposium, roundtable and workshops on sustainable lighting. 

Check out their website for more information

Palm Beach Headland has become Australia’s first Urban Night Sky Place

In an Australian first Palm Beach Headland, located in the Northern Beaches of Sydney, has been designated as an Urban Night Sky Place (UNSP) by DarkSky International.

The designation demonstrates how good-quality lighting and design can reduce the impacts of artificial light on the natural nighttime environment and open up opportunities for better viewing of the night sky.

A UNSP aims to preserve a dark sky experience for visitors and educate people on the benefits of proper outdoor lighting that ensures public safety while protecting the night sky.

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When we add light to the environment, that has the potential to disrupt habitat, just like running a bulldozer over the landscape can.

Chad Moore, formerly of the U.S. National Park Service.

Reducing and removing unneeded artificial lighting is one of the easiest actions people can take to protect animals, plants, ecosystems and habitats and our future.

How does wildlife use natural light?

Animals and plants use natural light signals from the sun, moon and stars
to time their behaviour and life processes such as:

  • patterns of rest and activity
  • growth, reproduction and migration
  • navigation over short and long distances.

Light pollution harms wildlife and ecosystems

Light pollution can mimic, mask or confuse natural light signals, causing:

  • mistimed activity, growth or breeding
  • disturbed sleep and circadian rhythms
  • disorientation and poor navigation
  • attraction to artificial lights
  • encounters with new predators
  • reduced survival and reproduction.

Artificial lighting affects whole ecosystems by:

  • dividing and disconnecting suitable habitat
  • reducing pollination by nocturnal animals
  • disrupting food webs and nutrient webs
  • benefiting invasive species (cats, foxes and cane toads take advantage of artificial lights to feed).

Reducing the Effects of Light Pollution on Wildlife

Use the 6 Best Practice Lighting Design Principles to protect and restore natural darkness with good lighting design.

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Terrestrial Mammals

Most Australian terrestrial mammals are nocturnal and emerge from their refuge to begin foraging at or after dusk. 99% of terrestrial mammals that are listed as threatened under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act in 2023 are nocturnal.

Terrestrial mammals are ground-dwelling or arboreal across different habitats and the impacts of artificial light are species specific.

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Impacts on Wildlife

Effects of moon light and artificial light

Natural light/dark cycles and moon phases are important cues for terrestrial mammals to determine time of day and time of month.

Where there is significant artificial light at night, darker moon phases are masked, which may negatively impact important activities.

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Humans and Impacts

Brighter does not mean safer

What does the research tell us?

Plan International, the Monash University XYX Lab and ARUP lighting researchers have pooled their expertise to drill down into the stories of young women and analyse the relationship between urban lighting and women’s perceptions of safety.

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What to get involved?

Learn More About Light Pollution

Ideas for taking action about light pollution

  • Turn off unneeded and excessive lights.
  • Ask suppliers to sell DarkSky and habitat-friendly light bulbs and fittings.
  • Contact local, state and federal governments to express your concerns about over-lit areas.
  • Be a light-conscious neighbour and driver.
  • Follow DarkSky’s 5 principles to reduce light trespass, glare, clutter and skyglow.

If you want to learn more or have a query please contact us.