Dark Sky

Dark Sky

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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