Bats get disrupted at night by artificial lights. Light pollution affects the light-shy bats by making them less active, resulting in a loss of their habitat.
In a new pioneering 5-year study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, researchers have measured the effects of different spectra of light on the activity of slow-flying, light-shy bats in their hunting habitat.
The research found that common bats species like pipistrelle are equally active in darkness and red light, while in green and white light lit areas there is a substantial reduction in the activity level of bats. This reduction is because of the strong attraction of insects to green and white light, and not red light. Pipistrelles are opportunistic feeders on these gathered insects.
"The lack of effect of red light on both the rarer, light-shy species and the more common non-light-shy bats, opens up possibilities for limiting the disruption caused by external, artificial lighting in natural areas, in situations where having light is considered desirable” conclude the researchers.
An interesting fact is that the intensity of the light used for the experiments is perfectly suitable for use on country roads.