[Taxacom] Dimming lights to save bugs

Robert Zuparko rz at berkeley.edu
Thu Aug 6 11:21:54 CDT 2020

Interesting. I know that the city of Tucson has dimmed it's night lights,
both for costs purposes and to reduce light pollution (Kitt Peak houses an
observatory west of the town)


Perhaps this can act as a guide.

On Thu, Aug 6, 2020 at 4:54 AM John Grehan via Taxacom <
taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> wrote:

> 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
> October.
> 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
> year.
> 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
> insects.
> 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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Robert Zuparko
Essig Museum of Entomology
1101 Valley Life Sciences Building, #4780
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-3112
(510) 643-0804


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