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Insects: Conservation

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN HL1437, tabled on 25 June 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made as to whether the rate of loss of flying insects due to artificial light at night is increasing or decreasing.

Answered on

9 July 2021

In 2019 Defra published an evidence review of the status and risks to UK pollinating insects, developed with leading academics supporting our National Pollinator Strategy.

This review did not identify artificial light as a driver of insect trends. However, we are aware of recent scientific studies that have identified impacts of artificial light on the behaviour and physiology of some insect species. Generally, these studies highlight the need for further research to understand the significance of these impacts.

Defra has published or contributed to a range of assessments of the impact of artificial light on insects and wider biodiversity, as well as global and national assessments of the drivers of biodiversity loss more generally, and will continue to work with our academic partners so that emerging evidence is kept under review.

We have measures in place to mitigate the impacts of artificial light, through the planning system, the statutory nuisance regime, and where possible with improvements to street lighting.

Additionally, we are investing in pollinator monitoring to better understand populations trends and continue to take the right action to support recovery.