Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Save Our Seabirds! Simple steps to reducing light distraction.

Each fall, the keiki of Hawaii's native seabirds begin to fledge and fly to the ocean for the first time using the moonlight on the sea to navigate their way. These young birds are leaving the land for the first time and traveling to the ocean to find food and begin their adult lives. The light of the moon is their primary navigational tool.

Wedge-tailed Shearwater (Puffinus pacificus)

Unfortunately on their way to the sea, they cross lands covered with glaring lights. 

 Full moon behind Poipu Resort

These threatened and endangered birds are attracted to lights and often end up circling them until they are exhausted, and they can be injured by their fall to the ground.

Hawaiian petrel (Pterodroma sandwichensis)

This sad story can have a happy ending, though, and you can do your part, simply by making sure that your outdoor lights point DOWN instead of up!  

Uplighting creates a large amount of unnecessary light pollution. By simply changing light fixtures so they point down or are shielded, you can make a big difference for these special endangered birds. 

Visit the Seabird Protection and Impact Reduction webpage for more information about lighting strategies, examples of light fixtures that reduce light distraction, and info about fallen seabirds.

Click here to read "Turn Off the Lights for the Birds" on the Maui News website from December 2009. Check out the section with tips for "what to do/what not to do" if you encounter a fallen bird.

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