Many of us use artificial lights to accent our gardens and find our way at night. But the same lights that help us can lead to light pollution that adversely affects wildlife.
Light pollution threatens wildlife by disrupting biological rhythms and otherwise interfering with the behavior of nocturnal animals. Animals that navigate using the moon or stars can be disoriented and drawn to bright artificial lights, including baby sea turtles and certain migratory birds. Artificial light can also affect the feeding and calling behaviors of amphibians like salamanders and frogs.
To help prevent lighting from harming animals, use as few lights as possible in your landscape. Opt for fixtures that have shades that shield light and direct it down toward the ground.
Also on Gardening in a Minute
- 8th Annual Dark Sky Festival at Harmony, FL
- About Lighting Pollution--Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
- Artificial Lighting and Sea Turtle Hatchling Behavior--FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute
- Does Night Lighting Harm Trees?--Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources (PDF)
- International Dark Sky Association
- Light Pollution--National Geographic
- The Problems of Light Pollution--Floridat Atlantic University Astronomical Observatory
- Sensible Shoreland Lighting--University of Wisconsin Extension (PDF)