[Taxacom] Dimming lights to save bugs

John Grehan calabar.john at gmail.com
Thu Aug 6 06:53:21 CDT 2020

This is not taxonomy but hopefully of general interest nevertheless. have
heard comments over the years that lights have a detrimental impact on
insect populations that are nocturnally active. Don't know if there are any
studies on that, but was interested to see reference to action on this
being considered in Germany which will also extend to insecticides (which I
suspect directly impact human health as well as ecosystems)

John Grehan

Berlin (AFP) - Germany is planning to ban floodlights from dusk for much of
the year as part of its bid to fight a dramatic decline in insect
populations, it emerged Wednesday.

In a draft law seen by AFP, the country's environment ministry has drawn up
a number of new measures to protect insects, ranging from partially
outlawing spotlights to increased protection of natural habitats.

"Insects play an important role in the ecosystem...but in Germany, their
numbers and their diversity has severely declined in recent years," reads
the draft law, for which the ministry hopes to get cabinet approval by

The changes put forward in the law include stricter controls on both
lighting and the use of insecticides.

Light traps for insects are to be banned outdoors, while searchlights and
sky spotlights would be outlawed from dusk to dawn for ten months of the

The draft also demands that any new streetlights and other outdoor lights
be installed in such a way as to minimise the effect on plants, insects and
other animals.

The use of weed-killers and insecticides would also be banned in national
parks and within five to ten metres of major bodies of water, while
orchards and dry-stone walls are to be protected as natural habitats for

The proposed reforms are part of the German government's more general
"insect protection action plan", which was announced last September under
growing pressure from environmental and conservation activists.

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