Dozens of hatchlings killed due to bad lighting

| 25/09/2017 | 20 Comments
Cayman News Service

Green turtle hatchlings on the beach (Photo courtesy of the DoE)

(CNS): Researchers at the Department of Environment are calling for more owners of beachfront property to install turtle-friendly lighting after more than 60 endangered baby green turtles were found dead on the West Bay Road last week. The hatchlings were disoriented by lights near their nests in the West Bay cemetery area, but the DoE said this is only one of many similar incidents during this summer’s nesting season. While researchers have noticed an encouraging increase in turtles nesting on Cayman’s beaches, they say that success is being undermined by the problem of lighting. 

When they hatch from their nests at night, baby turtles head for the brightest light they can see. If this is not the moon and stars reflecting off the ocean’s surface, they go toward artificial lights on land, which unfortunately often results in them being injured or killed, the DoE explained, urging people to fit lights that can prevent the deaths of baby turtles while meeting the needs of residents.

“Turtle-friendly lighting does not mean that beachfront properties must be dark,” officials said. “Lights can be directed to illuminate only areas of the property that are used by residents instead of shining toward the sky and beach. Turtle hatchlings are less attracted to certain wavelengths of light, such as amber, so selected light fixtures or light bulbs can also be replaced.”

Turtle-friendly lighting is a legal requirement in Florida and other US states, which means that these methods are field-tested. Studies show that turtle-friendly lighting does not compromise security and can even enhance it. On some properties, it has also resulted in a 70% decrease in energy costs, the officials also stated.

“Turtle-friendly lighting is needed to protect our sea turtle nesting populations,” the DoE officials said, urging people to consider using it, particularly for new construction and when any existing beachfront lighting is due to be upgraded or replaced.

For more information visit the DoE website here

Tags: ,

Category: Land Habitat, Marine Environment, Science & Nature

Comments (20)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    There you go. Now close the turtle farm sue to “inhumane conditions” and force everyone into the dark ages so those same turtles aren’t splattered on the road ways.. Good libtard logic.




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  2. Anonymous says:

    That house in South Sound next on Surfer’s Beach still has their lights blazing at both properties. It’s a rental. Believe it goes for $10K. Surely they can afford turtle friendly lighting!! Len!???




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  3. Anonymous says:

    Just make it law and be done with it.




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  4. Narcisso Clarke says:

    The problem of over development in these islands and the price our environment will have to pay put a stop to this madness Cayman. Sustainable development and stop importing poverty and carefully screening of who we are allowing to work and remaining or live in Cayman. Cut this dependancy of work permit fees thereby allowing or infrastructure to grow at a slower pace stop catering to this elite menace and their offspring who believe we are put here for their conveience and comfort. Who just like parasites will simply move on to another host when they destroy this one.




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  5. Anonymous says:

    Why there are no annual awareness campaigns?




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  6. Frigbert says:

    Not MY f***** turtles!!!!




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  7. Anonymous says:

    Can’t the Department of Planning work with DoE? Wouldn’t it be appropriate for Department of Planning to approve and inspect beach-side lighting on such properties? Planning requires a lot of unnecessary BS for the most simple projects, so why can’t they do something worthwhile?




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    • SMHKMT says:

      Exactly. They can tell you how many inches above the ground the bottom of your railing needs to be but they can’t mandate turtle-friendly lighting? This is an easy fix… the only thing lacking is political will.




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      • Anonymous says:

        If turtles had money to buy condos,they would be treated like the sacred cows in India.Mandate proper lighting and issue fines during nesting season for the violations of the ordinance.




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  8. Anonymous says:

    Government should lead by example… Public street lights kill many turtle hatchlings every year.




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  9. Anonymous says:

    Shame, shame, shame. Florida take this issue very seriously. Signs are everywhere and people do care.




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    • Anonymous says:

      In Cayman the Government cares more about voters making money.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Not necessarily, I did not know that turtles are not attracted to amber lights. And if I had known, I would have installed amber lights.

        And, just my two cents…The Government here is not evil, just bureaucratic, marginally educated, devoid of process management, entrenched, and largely obtuse. But not capable of planned evil.




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  10. Anonymous says:

    Some people just don’t know or care to learn. If the DOE were to serve notice to offending Strata Plans to review their beach lighting, it might actually help change the status quo. Particularly if DOE already know which developments are unwittingly contributing to hatchling mortality. Changing a few light bulbs shouldn’t be too hard.




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  11. Anonymous says:

    Greed before doing the right thing. Some Christianity there.




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