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'The Lights Are Too Bright!' U.P. Wild Expresses Concern Over the New Lights on Campus

Light pollution has a negative impact on biodiversity.
IMAGE JEDIAEL NERI
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A brightly lit road is often a mark of progress. Ironically, a wildlife group in the University of the Philippines voiced  concern when the newly installed lights around the Academic Oval were “too bright.”

“The new lights are too bright! The lamps around Academic Oval have too many bulbs and their design scatters light to all directions,” wrote the UP Wild.

“The resulting light pollution from the lamps has a negative impact on our campus biodiversity. Our owls, fireflies, frogs, and other nocturnal animals are likely to be affected. The lights can confuse them and alter their natural behavior,” it added. 

As City Lights Grow Brighter, Fireflies Die

Ever wonder why you no longer see fireflies in the city? That’s because of light pollution. 

In a study about vanishing fireflies published in Bioscience in February 2020, lead author Sara Lewis discovered that apart from the destructive effects of pesticides, more damaging are the use of motorboats and artificial lights, which are killing the precious insects. Tourists often ride motorboats to get a glimpse of the spectacle of fireflies at night.

According to the study, artificial light disrupts the biorhythms of the fireflies, messing up their mating rituals. Any light source brighter than a full moon is harmful to fireflies. That includes city lights. 

Make the Lighting More Wildlife-Friendly

The UP Wild has not called on the removal of the lights, but the use of more wildlife-friendly alternatives.

“Moving forward, we hope that the light fixtures can be modified to become more wildlife-friendly. They can be fitted with downward shade, so that light will be less scattered. If their design allows, maybe the number of bulbs per post can be reduced or selectively turned on.”

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