Night Lights

Light Pollution

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What is Light Pollution 

Simply put, light pollution is light that goes anywhere it is not intended. When you are on an airplane coming into a city and see all the lights shining everywhere? That's light pollution. Light pollution prevents people from seeing the night sky but it also has effects on wildlife, affecting individuals and ecosystems. 

Why is it a problem? 

The effects of light pollution can be found in a variety of contexts from trees not going dormant from too much light, to moths and their predators concentrating in one area, to attracting night migrating birds off their path and into urban areas. Light pollution also has effects on people including the disruption of circadian rhythms and an inability to see the night sky.

 

For birds, the biggest danger from light pollution is drawing migratory birds off their path. This can cause them to be in unfamiliar habitat, increasing the potential of window strikes and falling prey to cats.  

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What can we do to help? 

Light pollution is one of the easiest threats to eliminate, simply turn off unnecessary lights at night! If you do have lights that need to be on, choosing warm colours and having the lights only illuminate the target area can go a long way. Lights in the blue and white spectrum present the highest risk to birds while warmer yellow lights reduce this risk. Motion sensors can also help reduce the time a light is on.