Dim the lights at night

Dim the lights for Birds (and turtles) at Night!

This Saturday 8 October is World Migratory Bird Day, an annual awareness-raising campaign that highlights the need to help birds that fly thousands of kilometres across the globe every year to breed and feed. This year’s theme is Reducing light pollution – a problem that is increasing by about two percent across the world every year.

The Bar-Tailed Godwit, which flies up to 9,500km non-stop, is one of many migratory shorebirds that use our local Kinka Beach during summer.

DID YOU KNOW? World migratory bird day is celebrated twice a year – once in May and once in October… you can read more about Fitzroy region’s migratory birds here.

Light pollution causes migratory birds to lose their way, collide with buildings and also messes with their body clocks. Ducks, geese, plovers, sandpipers, songbirds and seabirds of all kinds are affected by light pollution… and so are some of our region’s other special animals. Marine turtles that hatch on our shores also lose their way to the ocean when land-based light levels are too high.

The Australian Government has developed guidelines that outline 6 simple steps that you can implement at home to help reduce light pollution and its impact on native and migratory animals.

  1. Start with natural darkness, consider your needs and add light only for specific purposes.
  2. Use adaptive light controls, sensors and dimmers to manage light timing and intensity.
  3. Only light the areas you require to be lit.
  4. Lights should be kept low in intensity and close to the ground.
  5. Choose darker, non-reflective finishes for your home to prevent light from bouncing off into nature or the sky.
  6. Choose lights with little or no blue in them (such as orange, red or amber coloured lights) which reduce skyglow and to which wildlife are generally less sensitive.

Find out more about the guidelines as well as some great educational videos and kids activity sheets HERE!