Turtle-friendly lights installed along nesting beach in Antigua

Sea turtle, Antigua and Barbuda. Image: Todd Wiggins.

Sea turtles in Antigua are a little bit safer, thanks to lobbying by the Antigua Sea Turtle Project and action by the Antigua Public Utilities Authority:

Red turtle-friendly lights at Darkwood Beach!!! After 10 years of lobbying, the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) has responded, replacing the former white lights with red tinted LEDs, which will minimize disturbance to endangered sea turtles.

Sea turtles are instinctively attracted to illuminated areas, believing this to be the glow of the sea. In the presence of bright lights, nesting females and hatchlings can become disoriented, dehydrated, and vulnerable to predators. When attracted by light onto roadways, turtles are often crushed by passing traffic.

The new red diode LEDs emit a long wavelength light that is much less attractive to sea turtles than shorter wavelength white / blue lights. The ASTP has recorded hundreds of hatchlings stranded by streetlights each nesting season, and hundreds of fatalities as a result. The new lights will go a long way in safeguarding our turtles at Darkwood. Jabberwock, another important nesting site is also slated for the red light upgrade. Thanks for listening APUA!

Source: Save Antigua’s Sea Turtles on Facebook.

[Image: Todd Wiggins]

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