Light pollution still plagues Westland Petrels despite streetlights being turned off

Newspaper clipping 

The Westland Petrel Conservation Trust has reported on its Facebook page on the continued fallout of globally Endangered and nationally Naturally Uncommon Westland Petrels Procellaria westlandica fledging in November and December from their sole New Zealand breeding site at Punakaiki due to light pollution, despite street lights being switched off for the fledging season.

Westland Petrel fallout victim near Greymouth
Westland Petrel fallout victim near Greymouth in the 2020 breeding season, p
hotograph by Bruce Stuart-Menteath, Chair, Westland Petrel Conservation Trust

.“The Greymouth Evening Star article on 20 December about Westland petrel fallout reveals that greater efforts are needed to publicise the causes of the phenomenon.  Whilst there can be no doubt that turning off the streetlights through Punakaiki has resulted in a reduction of fallout casualties, to call this a "blackout" fails to acknowledge the many residential and commercial lights that remain a problem in the village, and at other fallout sites between Westport and Hokitika.  So far fallout numbers for Punakaiki, at 16, are about the same as last year, while those for Greymouth, at 9, are well below last year's 29.  The peak fledging period has long passed, but there will be a few more fallout cases to come yet.”

Access earlier ACAP Latest News posts on light pollution affecting Westland Petrels from here and here and listen to a radio interview on the “blackout” here.

World Migratory Bird Day for 2022 will have the theme of Light Pollution (click here).

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 04 January 2022

The Agreement on the
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