Saturday, 14 March 2015

Bats are harmed rather than helped by street lights

New research at the University of Exeter and Bat Conservation Ireland has given the lie to the popular belief that streetlights are attractive to our common bat species because of the insect life they attract.

The study found that in fact bat activity was lower in street-lit areas than in dark locations with similar habitat. And, in fact, the scientists have concluded bright lights are having a detrimental effect on bats.

Despite frequently being depicted as blind, bats have good eyesight that is adapted for low light conditions. 

Dr Fiona Mathews from the University of Exeter says: “When we walk out of a lit house into the dark, it takes a while for our eyes to adapt to the darkness. 

“The same is true in bats – they are dazzled by bright light and it takes time for their eyes to re-adjust. This could affect their ability to navigate. 

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