Lane Audubon has launched a Lights Out Eugene! campaign to protect migratory birds and pollinators. Mayor Vinis signed a proclamation to encourage the community to reduce unnecessary light at night, which can be deadly to birds and insect pollinators. With little effort, we can ameliorate the problem. The proclamation not only recognizes the ill effects of artificial light on birds, pollinators, and humans, but it outlines the rather easy steps we can take to make a difference. See: https://www.eugene-or.gov/DocumentCenter/View/71332/Lights-Out-Eugene.
North America’s bird population has declined 30% since 1970, or nearly three billion birds. In particular peril are grassland birds, affecting farms directly. Light pollution disorients birds in flight, causing collisions with buildings and causing birds to become very, very tired! Pollinators are attracted to artificial light, a threat of extinction to one-third of the native insects that pollinate 40% of our crops. Studies have also linked excessive artificial light to serious health effects in humans, from sleep disorders to depression.
The great news is that this is an issue we can do something about! Lane Audubon asks the community to help migratory birds gain safe passage during critical migration periods, September through October and April through June, 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. by:
- Reducing decorative and unnecessary lighting
- Reducing light spill
At all times:
- Turn off unnecessary and decorative lighting late at night
- Use timers and motion sensors
- Shield outside lights and aim them downward
- Choose warm bulbs (2000 Kelvins or less) with negligible blue light
Research has shown no causal relationship between reduced lighting and increased crime. In fact, crime is often easier to accomplish in well-lighted areas!
Lane Audubon asks residents and businesses to Take the Pledge to make our region safer for birds and insects and healthier for humans: https://laneaudubon.org/field-notes/lights-out-eugene/take-the-pledge-lights-out/
Source: Lane Audubon
Links to resources: https://laneaudubon.org/field-notes/lights-out-eugene/
By Brenda Johnson Kame’enui