Light pollution ‘helps birds’

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LIGHT pollution on one of Scotland’s most industrial coastlines is helping shorebirds survive by mimicking a perpetual full moon, ecologists reported today.

Gas flares and electrical lighting along the Firth of Forth make it easier for birds to see at night, allowing them to stock up on extra fuel for the spring migration.

Millions of waterbirds from the Arctic winter on UK coasts, but little was known about how bright lights of coastal cities and industry affect their behaviour.

The research, published in the Journal of Animal Ecology, contrasts with other studies which said light pollution harms wildlife, for example by causing seabirds to collide with lighthouses.