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Wildlife Lighting

Lighting pollution is a serious threat to many types of wildlife.  Each year, artificial light causes disruption of behavior, injury, and death to thousands of migrating birds, sea turtles and other reptiles, amphibians, mammals, and invertebrates.  To learn more about the effects of artificial lighting on these animals, go to About Lighting Pollution.

The Solution

First and foremost, there is NO SUBSTITUTE FOR NATURALLY DARK HABITATS.  Turning off unnecessary lights is the simplest, most effective, and most energy efficient solution to this issue.  However, for situations where artificial lighting is absolutely required for human safety and security, there is another solution.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have teamed up to develop the Wildlife Lighting Certification Program.  This program is designed to educate the public, building industries, and government officials on minimizing artificial light impacts to wildlife by identifying proper lighting methods and using appropriate lighting fixtures, lamps, and shields.  Appropriate wildlife lighting meets ALL THREE of the criteria below.  For more information on these criteria, click on Certification Program.


diagram showing how to mount turtle friendly lights

Keep it LOW - mount the fixture as low as possible and use the lowest wattage necessary for the needed purpose

Keep it LONG - use long wavelength (greater than 560 nm) light sources such as amber, orange, and red LEDs

Keep it SHIELDED - use fixtures that meet or exceed full cutoff that shield lamps or glowing lenses from being directly visible

For more information, please see the FWC's Florida Sea Turtle Lighting Guidelines.

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