Street lighting disturbs commuting bats


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Avoid illumination of bat commuting routes

Action Link
Bat Conservation
  1. Avoid illumination of bat commuting routes

    A replicated, controlled study in 2008 along eight hedgerows in the south of the UK (Stone et al 2009) found that unlit hedges had higher activity of lesser horseshoe bats Rhinolophus hipposideros, and bats were active earlier in the evening, than along hedges illuminated with street lights. Unlit hedges had higher lesser horseshoe bat activity (average 79 bat passes) than hedges illuminated with street lights (average 7–10 bat passes). Lesser horseshoe bats were also active earlier on nights when hedges were unlit (average 30 minutes after sunset) than on nights when they were illuminated with street lights (79 minutes after sunset). Each of eight hedges was illuminated with two portable high-pressure sodium street lights (average 53 lux). In April–July 2008, observations and bat detector recordings were made for seven nights at each of eight sites with a silent unlit control treatment for one night, a noise treatment on the second night (with the generator powering the lights), four nights with the lit treatment and a final night with a repeat of the noise treatment.

    (Summarised by: Anna Berthinussen)

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