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Light Pollution Affects Species of British Moths

Light Pollution Affects Species of British Moths

Tuesday 07 September 2021

Poorly implemented lighting leads to significant problems with light pollution, across multiple areas. Notably, a recent study demonstrates the reductions in moth populations across the UK, indicating that authorities may need to clamp down on these issues, or lighting engineers may have to apply stronger phosphors and filters.

The study by the UK Centre for Hydrology and Ecology indicates that reductions in moth populations may be worse than first feared. Scientists state that larger moth populations have declined by 33% between 1968 and 2017, which could result in untold ecological effects.

Dr Richard Fox, who led the report, has emphasised the important role of moths in the pollination of many plant species. He also argues that ecosystems are bound to see the negative effects due to this loss, leading to further unnatural changes and loss of biomass.

Experts agree that excess unfiltered light needs greater government attention. Across many fields within biodiversity and management of ecosystems, more and more studies show that circadian rhythms within multiple animal species are detrimentally affected by poorly managed city lighting solutions.

The UK government currently has internal goals regarding light pollution, but these targets are currently unclear. Public policy in this area has not been altered in some years and will need further work if animal species are to be rescued.


  1. Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.
  2. The Guardian.
  3. National Geographic.
  5. Wiley Online Library.


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