The sand hopper (Talitrus saltator) is a common feature of Europe's coasts. Credit: John Spicer, University of Plymouth

UK - Artificial night sky poses serious threat to coastal species

The artificial lighting which lines the world's coastlines could be having a significant impact on species that rely on the moon and stars to find food, new research suggests.

Creatures such as the sand hopper (Talitrus saltator) orientate their nightly migrations based on the moon's position and brightness of the natural night sky.

However, a study by Bangor University and the University of Plymouth shows the presence of artificial light originating from cities several kilometers away (also known as artificial skyglow) disrupts the lunar compass they use when covering long distances.

In some cases, this can lead to them traveling towards the sea and away from food, while in others it reduces the chance of them venturing out on forays for food at all.

Read the full story here.