The Necessity of Environmentally Friendly Mobile Light Towers to Turtle Hatchlings

In this hectic society wherein there are deadlines everywhere, nighttime construction cannot be avoided. In fact, it’s a norm for construction companies and other related agencies to work all throughout the evening. For this reason, mobile lighting towers have become a requirement. Because not every job necessitates the use of lighting towers, rental of these pieces of equipment have become more practical rather than purchasing these tools.

But there are repercussions to using light towers with the most significant one concerning turtles. Sea turtles are affected by the artificial lighting especially when they are nesting and hatching. Every year, turtles head to the beach in order to nest. The females bury their eggs in the sand where these turtles nest. When it’s the time for these eggs to hatch, the hatchlings dig out of these nests in order to emerge into the surface. When evening comes, these hatchlings make a race for it to the water. Although this journey is short, it is critical for the survival of these hatchlings. In certain situations, as many as a hundred hatchlings make this crucial journey together. Getting to the ocean is necessary for the survival of these sea turtles.

So how does artificial light affect this process?

The disruption of this crucial journey by artificial lights happens because these hatchlings become extremely attracted to the light. Instead of going to the ocean, they instead end up going to streetlights, light from porches as well as mobile lighting towers. By being steered away from the sea, these hatchlings are at risk at being trampled upon by moving vehicles, exhaustion and dehydration due to the sun’s rays, as well as their natural predators. Because this migration from their nests to the ocean is undertaken by hundreds of hatchlings at a time, it is very possible that one single artificial light could endanger tens if not hundreds of young turtles. At the same time, beaches with abundant artificial lighting are also less likely to be chosen as nesting sites by female turtles.

turtle hatchlings

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Choosing turtle-friendly mobile lighting towers.

Because of the inherent dangers of using artificial light near the beach, several companies have designed their mobile lighting towers to use only sodium vapor lights in lieu of the metal halide lamps that are often used in manufacturing these lighting towers. Sodium vapor lights have a softer glow which does not attract hatchlings as much as the piercing white light that metal halide lamps emit. 

The writer, Jamie Press, works for construction business for 15 years. He offers valuable insights about construction equipment such as mine lighting.

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