Wildlife

Unnatural LED Lights

The switch to more energy-efficient light-emitting diodes (LEDs) in many of the world’s streetlamps has not only disrupted insect behavior, but researchers say it is also leading to a decline in at least some insect populations.

Researchers from the U.K. Center for Ecology & Hydrology say they found 50% fewer moth caterpillars living immediately around the LED lights along rural roads in southern England, compared to their numbers near traditional illumination. The scientists say the trend is alarming since small birds, hedgehogs and predatory insects feed on the caterpillars, while larger birds and bats eat the adult moths.

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