"The Dark Side of Bright Nights"

"Light can be deadly. Many animals and plants are threatened by artificial light. Numerous organisms have found their evolutionary niche in the dark of night, and now have to adapt to bright nights."

"Not all of them succeed.

More than half of all animals are nocturnal. Their sensory organs, their behavior, their orientation and their metabolism are adapted to darkness, moonlight and starlight. But in today’s modern world, countless artificial light sources create something called light smog. This light pollution is generated in cities, villages and industrial areas. It comes from advertising billboards, roads and paths - and even from space.

Artificial light disturbs the natural way of life of animals and plants, destroys biotopes and, not least, eliminates biodiversity. Indeed, light pollution has recently been recognized by experts as a possible main cause of global species extinction.

However, the urgency of the issue is still underestimated by the general public and politicians. As part of a citizen science project, people all over Germany are helping to catch, identify and count aquatic insects in the country’s largest light pollution field experiment."

DW had the story December 19, 2023.

Source: DW, 12/21/2023