In search of dark nights
Institute of the Environment Associate Adjunct Professor Travis Longcore led a symposium on the disruptive effect of artificial light at night.
Artificial light at night can disrupt everything from astronomers' views of the stars to the path-finding abilities of migrating animals. The impacts of artificial light on wildlife was the focus of a symposium at the 24th annual International Congress for Conservation Biology, held 3–7 July in Edmonton, Alberta.
The symposium was the latest manifestation of a growing collaboration between astronomers and conservationists, aimed at extinguishing unnecessary night lighting. Astronomers want to see the night sky better, whereas conservationists want to spare wildlife the disorienting effects of a sky illuminated at all hours of the day and night.
"You talk about global change — one of the most visible changes in the last 100 years is night lighting," says Travis Longcore, science director of the Urban Wildlands Group, based in Los Angeles, California, and organizer of the Edmonton light symposium. "We've turned major swathes of the globe into permanent full moon, or more."
To read the full article by Emma Marris in Nature News click here.
Published: Tuesday, July 13, 2010