Avoidance of different durations, colours and intensities of artificial light by adult seabirds

Syposz, Martyna, Padget, Oliver, Willis, Jay, Van Doren, Benjamin M, Gillies, Natasha, Fayet, Annette L, Wood, Matthew J ORCID: 0000-0003-0920-8396, Alejo, Aarón and Guilford, Tim (2021) Avoidance of different durations, colours and intensities of artificial light by adult seabirds. Scientific Reports, 11 (1). Art 18941. doi:10.1038/s41598-021-97986-x

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There is increasing evidence for impacts of light pollution on the physiology and behaviour of wild animals. Nocturnally active Procellariiform seabirds are often found grounded in areas polluted by light and struggle to take to the air again without human intervention. Hence, understanding their responses to diferent wavelengths and intensities of light is urgently needed to inform mitigation measures. Here, we demonstrate how diferent light characteristics can afect the nocturnal fight of Manx shearwaters Pufnus pufnus by experimentally introducing lights at a colony subject to low levels of light pollution due to passing ships and coastal developments. The density of birds in fight above the colony was measured using a thermal imaging camera. We compared number of fying shearwaters under dark conditions and in response to an artifcially introduced light, and observed fewer birds in fight during ‘light-on’ periods, suggesting that adult shearwaters were repelled by the light. This efect was stronger with higher light intensity, increasing duration of ‘light-on’ periods and with green and blue compared to red light. Thus, we recommend lower light intensity, red colour, and shorter duration of ‘light-on’ periods as mitigation measures to reduce the efects of light at breeding colonies and in their vicinity.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Manx shearwaters (Puffinus puffinus), Breeding colonies; Artifical light
Subjects: Q Science > QL Zoology > QL605 Chordates. Vertebrates > QL671-699 Birds
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > Countryside and Community Research Institute
Research Priority Areas: Place, Environment and Community
Depositing User: Rhiannon Goodland
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2021 13:52
Last Modified: 29 Dec 2021 13:30
URI: https://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/10200

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