Lighting the way: towards reducing misorientation of olive ridley hatchlings due to artificial lighting at Rushikulya, India

  • Published source details Karnad D., Isvaran K., Kar C.S. & Shanker K. (2009) Lighting the way: towards reducing misorientation of olive ridley hatchlings due to artificial lighting at Rushikulya, India. Biological Conservation, 142, 2083-2088.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use barriers or vegetation to reduce artificial light

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Use barriers or vegetation to reduce artificial light

    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.

    (Summarised by: Maggie Watson, Katie Sainsbury)

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