Sea turtle hatchlings start out life with only an estimated 1 out of 1,000 hatchlings making it into adulthood. Sea turtles usually hatch at night for protection against predators and the harsh sun. Once they hatch, the tiny turtles find their way to the ocean by reflections from the moon on the water. There is a myriad of circumstances that work against their journey into the ocean – natural predators such as fish, seabirds, crabs, and even raccoons enjoy snacking on sea turtle hatchlings.
Another big risk for sea turtles is improper lighting alongside oceanfront areas. Bright lights too close to pockets of hatchlings cause the turtles to become disoriented and wander inland, thereby lowering their chances of survival. Turtle-friendly solar lights are used in places such as along the coastline in Florida, where they experience larger concentrations of sea turtle deaths due to bright roadway and area lighting. Amber solar lights are used successfully in the nesting areas to ensure that the sea turtle hatchlings are not attracted to surrounding roads.
Solar Lighting International, Inc. offers amber solar lighting solutions for coastal areas to meet your turtle and wildlife-friendly lighting needs. Our Stealth 40-Watt solar light now comes in a sea turtle-friendly amber color to illuminate beachside areas, and more importantly, to help guide turtle hatchlings with the proper lighting. The amber color of our turtle-safe solar lights doesn’t produce any blue light and is not visible to the sea turtle parents laying their eggs and to the babies when they hatch.
There are three key requirements to successful wildlife lighting:
- Keeping the fixture as low as possible to the ground, as well as using the lowest wattage fixture possible for the area.
- Using an amber light source with a long wavelength (greater than 560 nm).
- Using full cutoff LED fixtures or sensor shields that focus the light towards the ground instead of in all directions.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) lists its criteria to ensure that these locations meet the requirements of being a turtle-friendly installation.
Installing turtle-safe solar lights along the main beach pathways and sidewalks also meet the needs of pedestrians for walking safely in an otherwise dark area. Additionally, the savings from not having to trench for wires and pay electric bills and light pole rental month after month saves the city much-needed funds.
If you have a coastline project where nesting sea turtles need to be protected, contact us at Solar Lighting International and we will have our engineers on staff design a lighting layout for you.
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