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Encyclopedia Dubuque

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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.




PARK LIGHT

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PARK LIGHT. Reports in the journal Biological Conservation in 2020 indicated that pervasive artificial light at night was an important component to the worldwide decline of insect populations. This had serious consequences to humanity.

Artificial light at night disrupted the reproduction, feeding, and movement of insects. Drawn to the light, insects often died because predators found the easier to find. Affected insects included everything from moths to wasps including such local species as FISHFLIES and fireflies. Such familiar items as bug zappers end up killing more predators of MOSQUITOES than the insects themselves. At current rates of decline, the world could see the extinction of nearly 40% of all insect species within a few decades--disrupting food chains and webs linked to human beings.

Dubuque County park officials noted that they tried not to have lights on at all times and used timers. Some cities an parks used orange-colored lights which were less inclined to attract insects. If street lights were aimed straight down, the spread of the light would be focused on the intersection and not the surrounding environment.

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Source:

1. Goldstein, Bennet, "Parks Take Measures to Reduce Light Pollution," Telegraph Herald, April 19, 2020, p. 9A