The Impact of Artificial Lights on Wildlife

This composite image shows the world light use at night. (Credit: Data courtesy Marc Imhoff of NASA GSFC and Christopher Elvidge of NOAA NGDC. Image by Craig Mayhew and Robert Simmon, NASA GSFC.)

As shown by this world map, the night sky is obscured by artificial lights in many parts of the world. These lights are used to illuminate buildings, roadways, stadiums, fields, and other structures. While these lights help humans navigate around their surroundings, they can wreak havoc with the natural movements and functions of other animals. Research indicates that the light pollution caused by artificial lights can disorient wildlife, affect natural circadian rhythms, and disrupt bird migration.

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