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Lighting up our waterways: Impacts of a current mitigation strategy on Riparian bats

Hooker, Jack; Lintott, Paul; Stone, Emma

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Jack Hooker

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Paul Lintott
Senior Lecturer in Conservation Science

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Dr Emma Stone
Senior Lecturer Environmental Biology


Increasing levels of artificial light at night (ALAN) are a major threat to global biodiversity and can have negative impacts on a wide variety of organisms and their ecosystems. Nocturnal species such as bats are highly vulnerable to the detrimental effects of ALAN. A variety of lighting management strategies have been adopted to minimise the impacts of ALAN on wildlife, however relatively little is known about their effectiveness. Using an experimental approach, we provide the first evidence of negative impacts of part-night lighting (PNL) strategies on bats. Feeding activity of Myotis spp. was reduced along rivers exposed to PNL despite no reduction in overall bat activity. We also provide the first evidence of negative effects of PNL on both feeding and activity for Pipistrellus pipistrellus which has previously been recorded feeding under artificial light. Despite having considerable energy-saving benefits, we outline the potential negative impacts of PNL schemes for bats in riparian habitats. PNL are unlikely to provide desired conservation outcomes for bats, and can potentially fragment important foraging habitats leading to a breakdown of functional connectivity across the landscape. We highlight the potential dichotomy for strategies which attempt to simultaneously address climate change and biodiversity loss and recommend alternative management strategies to limit the impacts of ALAN on biodiversity.


Hooker, J., Lintott, P., & Stone, E. (2022). Lighting up our waterways: Impacts of a current mitigation strategy on Riparian bats. Environmental Pollution, 307, Article 119552.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 26, 2022
Online Publication Date May 30, 2022
Publication Date Aug 15, 2022
Deposit Date Jun 23, 2022
Publicly Available Date Jun 23, 2022
Journal Environmental Pollution
Print ISSN 0269-7491
Electronic ISSN 1873-6424
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 307
Article Number 119552
Keywords Anthropogenic impacts; Bats; Light pollution; Urbanisation; Biodiversity conservation; Chiroptera; Foraging; ALAN
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