Playing games under a daytime sun can be no fun in a warm environment. Shifting to flood-lit night games can solve the heat problem but on the Hawaiian island of Kauai fledging Newell’s Shearwaters Puffinus newelli (globally Endangered) were attracted to the floodlights, causing groundings and mortalities.
As a consequence since 2010 night football games have not been allowed on the island during the three-month fledging season. But now shielding the stadium and park lights to shine downward only has allowed evening games to start once more. The impact of the allowed night games on the birds is being monitored.
“The new shielded lights are only part of the solution. The approved game nights fall on dates during which the moon will be full or near-full. There is lower risk that stadium lights will contribute to the number of birds dropping from the sky when the moon is big and bright.”
Newell's Shearwater, photograph by Eric Vanderwerf
Read more about the ins and outs of American football and threatened shearwaters here.
John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 16 January 2018