Ecological Consequences of Artificial Night Lighting

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Catherine Rich, Travis Longcore
Island Press, Apr 16, 2013 - Nature - 479 pages
While certain ecological problems associated with artificial night lighting are widely known-for instance, the disorientation of sea turtle hatchlings by beachfront lighting-the vast range of influences on all types of animals and plants is only beginning to be recognized. From nest choice and breeding success of birds to behavioral and physiological changes in salamanders, many organisms are seriously affected by human alterations in natural patterns of light and dark. Ecological Consequences of Artificial Night Lighting is the first book to consider the environmental effects of the intentional illumination of the night. It brings together leading scientists from around the world to review the state of knowledge on the subject and to describe specific effects that have been observed across a full range of taxonomic groups, including mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, fishes, invertebrates, and plants. Ecological Consequences of Artificial Night Lighting provides a scientific basis to begin addressing the challenge of conserving the nighttime environment. It cogently demonstrates the vital importance of this until-now neglected topic and is an essential new work for conservation planners, researchers, and anyone concerned with human impacts on the natural world.

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Page 16 - After eleven o'clock, such a noise began in the contiguous forest, that for the remainder of the night all sleep was impossible. The wild cries of animals rung through the woods. Among the many voices which resounded together, the Indians could only recognise those which, after short pauses, were heard singly. There was the monotonous, plaintive, cry of the Aluates (howling monkeys), the whining, flute-like notes of the small sapajous, the grunting murmur of the striped nocturnal ape (6) (Nyctipithecus...
Page 16 - To me the scene appeared rather to be owing to an accidental, long-continued, and gradually increasing conflict among the animals. Thus, for instance, the jaguar will pursue the peccaries and the tapirs, which, densely crowded together, burst through the barrier of tree-like shrubs which opposes their flight. Terrified at the confusion, the monkeys on the tops of the trees join their cries with those of the larger animals. This arouses the tribes of birds who build their nests in communities, and...
Page 16 - Whenever the tigers approached the edge of the forest, our dog, who before had barked incessantly, came howling to seek protection under the hammocks. Sometimes the cry of the tiger resounded from the branches of a tree, and was then always accompanied by the plaintive piping tones of the apes, who were endeavoring to escape from the unwanted pursuit.
Page 17 - ... disturbed the stillness of the forest; for we observed that the voices were loudest during violent storms of rain, or when the thunder echoed and the lightning flashed through the depths of the woods. The good-natured Franciscan monk who (notwithstanding the fever from which he had been suffering for many months), accompanied us through the cataracts of Atures and Maypures to San Carlos, on the Rio Negro, and to the Brazilian coast, used to say, when apprehensive of a storm at night, " May Heaven...
Page 16 - Indians are asked why such a continuous noise is heard on certain nights, they answer with a smile that the animals are rejoicing in the beautiful moonlight and celebrating the return of the full moon.

About the author (2013)

CATHERINE RICH is executive officer of The Urban Wildlands Group. TRAVIS LONGCORE is science director of The Urban Wildlands Group.

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