North Pennines Stargazing Week

Night Creatures World Cup

Night Creatures World Cup

Dark nights and the absence of light pollution is really important for animals, as well as critical for really good stargazing. During North Pennines Stargazing Week 2020 we thought we’d have some fun with this and run a ‘creatures of the night’ world cup on our Twitter channel @NorthPennAONB.

The AONB Partnership Staff Team has selected 16 animals of the dark hours – so predominantly nocturnal and crepuscular – that are found in the North Pennines AONB. We’ve not applied any scientific method to this – remember it’s just a bit of fun!

Over Stargazing Week we will be inviting our Twitter followers to vote for their favourite creatures of the night in the group stage, quarter finals, semis and ultimately the grand final. So if you’re on Twitter head to http://www.twitter.com/northpennaonb and watch out for the polls #NightCreaturesWorldCup #NorthPennStarWeek20

Definitions

Nocturnal – active at night

Dirurnal – active during the day

Crepuscular – active at dusk and dawn (if you want to get even more technical… matutinal animals are most active at dawn and vespertine for dusk-loving beasts)

The serious bit

Life on Earth has evolved alongside the natural cycle of daylight and night-time – over geological time. Unfortunately increasing use of lights at night has blurred this rhythm of dark and light. This can lead to challenging conditions for biodiversity.

Some examples, include:

  • birds being killed whilst migrating as they become disoriented and exhausted circling and flying into brightly lit buildings and other structures;
  • 60% of insects are nocturnal and are often killed when confused and attracted to artificial light; and
  • artificial light has been found to disrupt feeding in some bats.

This blog is part of the North Pennines Stargazing Week 2020. Visit our Stargazing Week hub for more events, blogs and features.

North Pennines Stargazing Week 2020

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