Use barriers or vegetation to reduce artificial light

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
    not assessed
  • Certainty
    not assessed
  • Harms
    not assessed

Study locations

Key messages

  • One study evaluated the effects of using barriers or vegetation to reduce artificial light on reptile populations. This study was in India.




  • Behaviour change (1 study): One replicated, site comparison study in India1 found that when casuarina plantations were in close proximity (50 m) to the high tide line, more olive ridley turtle hatchlings crawled towards the sea compared to when plantations were 500 m from the high tide line, or when there was high intensity light and no barrier.

About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. A replicated, site comparison study (years not provided) on a sandy beach in Orissa, India (Karnad et al. 2009) found that when casuarina Casaurina equisetifolia plantations were in close proximity to the high tide line, more olive ridley Lepidochelys olivacea sea turtle hatchlings oriented themselves towards the sea compared to when plantations were further away from the tide line, or there was no light barrier. Fewer hatchlings oriented towards land and showed significant seaward orientation when casuarina were planted 50 m from the high tideline (0 of 10 hatchlings/trial oriented landwards) compared to when plantations were 500 m from the high tideline (4 of 10 hatchlings/trial) or where there was no light barrier (high intensity artificial lights visible: 5 of 10 hatchlings/trial; spaced out artificial lights visible: 2 of 10 hatchlings/trial). The 5 km beach was divided into areas with illumination and casuarina planted 50 m, or 500 m from the high tide line; no light barrier and lighting from well-spaced light from a highway; and no light barrier and high intensity artificial light. During the night, newly emerged hatchlings were placed in the middle of a 1.5 m circular arena with artificial light sources and the seaward horizon visible (nine trials/area, 10 hatchlings/trial). Hatchlings were allowed to orient, move to the edge of the arena and their direction of travel was recorded.

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Sainsbury K.A., Morgan W.H., Watson M., Rotem G., Bouskila A., Smith R.K. & Sutherland W.J. (2021) Reptile Conservation: Global Evidence for the Effects of Interventions for reptiles. Conservation Evidence Series Synopsis. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Where has this evidence come from?

List of journals searched by synopsis

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Reptile Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Reptile Conservation
Reptile Conservation

Reptile Conservation - Published 2021

Reptile synopsis

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