The use of artificial light at night (ALAN) has detrimental impacts on numerous species, including insects, reptiles like sea turtles, and birds. Each year in the US alone, between 100 million and 1 billion migratory birds meet their deaths due to ALAN. During avian migrations, most of which occur at night, light attracts and disorients birds, confusing and exhausting them, and making them vulnerable to collisions with buildings and other urban threats. Songbirds are particularly at risk, because when they become disoriented by artificial light over brightly lighted cities, they send out more “flight calls.” These social calls are designed to help the group with orientation, navigation and other collective decisions, but instead, in this situation the distressed bird’s calls lure other birds to their death.
This month’s Human-Animal Studies Report highlights meaningful actions we can take—both the collectively and individually—that are both personally empowering and will make a difference for these animals. Read more here.
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Image Credit: Gala Argent. “Dark sky” outdoor lighting is warmer in color temperature and shielded downwards.