Sea turtles are the most well-known species of reptiles that are negatively affected by artificial light. Female turtles nest on subtropical and tropical beaches around the world. About two months later, the hatchlings burst from the nest en masse and start scrambling to the brightest horizon.  On a natural beach, this is toward the moon and starlight glimmering off the water, and away from the shadowy dune. Artificial lights cause a problem for hatchlings because they lead the small turtles away from the safety of the water, where they succumb to dehydration, predators, or even being run over by cars. They also affect nesting females, who may spend valuable energy moving toward lights and away from the water instead of returning to the sea after nesting. Tragically, nesting females may also be attracted to roads where they are hit by cars. The loss of a female who has, against the odds, made it to reproductive age is a significant loss to these threatened and endangered populations. For more information on the effects of lights on sea turtles.

Other species of reptiles are also affected by artificial light. For example, geckos are a nocturnal species of reptile that are drawn to light to feed. This, in turn, makes the geckos more susceptible to predators.

FWC Facts:
Florida is a peninsula, which contributes to the number of invasive species affecting our ecosystem.

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