NIGHTS WITHOUT LIGHTS – REUNION MAKES A POINT
(Posted 12th April 2018)
Reunion Island turns off its lights again from April 05th to 29th as part of the tenth edition of Nuits sans Lumière.
Organized by the Reunion National Park, the Society of Ornithological Studies of Reunion (SEOR) and the Council of Culture, Education and Environment of Reunion (CCEE), the objective is to reduce light pollution on the island for 25 days to encourage the flight of young petrels and the laying of eggs by sea turtles.
For ten years, the Nuits sans Lumière have aimed to raise the awareness of municipalities and their inhabitants about light pollution, its negative effects and ways of reducing it. A growing number of partners, public and private, commit each year throughlighting extinguishing campaigns and awareness-raising actions.
Extinguish useless or skyward lights to encourage the flight of young petrels, the nesting of sea turtles, the observation of the sky but also save energy.
The light pollution is the result of artificial lighting abusive, unnecessary or misguided that have a direct impact on the fauna, flora, nocturnal ecosystems or human health. For ten years, actions of reduction of lighting are committed in the long term.
Seven good reasons to participate in Nights without Lights, valid not only in Reunion but everywhere:
1. Improve health
Sleep disorders, concentration, aggressiveness, reduced performance … More than 80 disturbances are recognized as a consequence of excessive exposure to lighting. Studies even show that a disruption of the life cycle could contribute to the increased risk of cancer among workers of the three-eight!
2. Reduce your electricity bill
Light is expensive! In the communes, the weight of public lighting is substantial. It alone accounts for 58% of total electricity consumption.
3. Decrease global warming
Reducing its electricity bill means reducing greenhouse gases. Today, at the global level, electricity for public and private lighting accounts for about 15% of global consumption and 5% of greenhouse gases.
4. Better observe the stars
The term “light pollution” has long been used to designate the luminous halo generated by the misdirected light, and thus lost. This diffuse light is a real nuisance for astronomers wanting to observe the sky.
5. Protect the petrels
Barau’s petrels and black petrels are pelagic bird species that nest on the slopes of Piton de la Fournaise and Grand Bénare. These are two species of endemic petrels of Reunion which are today threatened. During the months of March and April, young birds that take their first flight to the sea are sensitive to bright spots. Deceived by the urban lights, which they take for the reflection of the Moon on the Indian Ocean, they land on the ground. Deprived of their promontory, they can not then take off again and perish from dehydration or predation, even crushing.
NB: Petrels take off from their burrows, especially between 19h and 23h and again between 4h and 5h30. The sun setting around 18h at this time in Reunion, it is recommended, quite simply, not to turn on the lights.
6. Preserving nocturnal ecosystems
Reunion is a hotspot of biodiversity and has a record rate of endemism. The massive lighting harms the animal species of the island, all categories combined including insects and bats.
7. Protecting sea turtles
The number of turtles that come to lay on the shores of the intense island is counted on the fingers of one hand. In particular, a massive and poorly oriented lighting that prevents the reproduction of sea turtles.
From April 05th to 29th many activities and awareness campaigns against light pollution and its harmful effects on nature and human health are offered throughout the island of Reunion.
For more information => http://www.nuitssanslumiere.re/
Added information about Destination Reunion can be found via www.reunion.fr