Scientists believe light pollution could be responsible for the recent declines in insect populations.
A UK study found that artificial street lights disrupted the behavior of nocturnal moths and reduced caterpillar numbers by half.
The most impactful modern LED streetlights have been seen.
It is becoming increasingly clear that pesticides, climate change and habitat loss are causing a decline in insect populations.
Complex and diverse factors are involved, including constant loss of forests, heathlands and marshes as well as overuse pesticides, climate change, and pollution of rivers, lakes, and rivers.
Artificial lights used at night have been suggested as another factor in insect decline. However, the scale of this effect is still unclear.
According to the researchers, their study published in Science Advances is the strongest yet. It shows that light pollution can have adverse effects on local insect populations. This could have consequences for birds that depend on caterpillars as food.
Douglas Boyes, lead researcher at the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology said that while light pollution can be seen in a particular area, it is more evident when we look at the whole landscape.
“If insects are in trouble, as we believe and have evidence to support it, then perhaps we should do all we can to decrease these negative influences.”