Year in review: Woes of artificial lighting add up for wildlife | Science News

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Year in review: Woes of artificial lighting add up for wildlife

Streetlights and other illumination disrupt defense, mating

6:50am, December 15, 2015

DARK DAYS  Artificial light disrupts insects' and animals' normal rhythms, including those of this Tammar wallaby, scientists found this year. At night, Tammar wallabies living on a naval base faced 10 times the light intensity of peers in the bush.

Add dodging death, flirting and mothering to the tasks artificial light can discombobulate in wild animals.

Street lights take away the street smarts from normally wary moths, researchers reported this year. When bathed in LED illumination, free-flying moths are less likely to plunge or spiral downward at the sound of an incoming predatory bat (SN Online: 8/4/15).

Artificial illumination also misleads female cabbage moths into skimping on production of their usual sex pheromone lure. Instead they make an odd blend with too much of the components that repel rather than seduce (

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