The Royal Society

Supplementary material from "Nearby night lighting, rather than sky glow, is associated with habitat selection by a top predator in human-dominated landscapes"

Posted on 2023-09-15 - 15:11
Artificial light at night (ALAN) is increasing in extent and intensity across the globe. It has been shown to interfere with animal sensory systems, orientation and distribution with the potential to cause significant ecological impacts. We analysed the locations of 102 mountain lions (Puma concolor) in a light-polluted region in California. We modelled their distribution relative to environmental and human-disturbance variables, including upward radiance (nearby lights), zenith brightness (sky glow) and natural illumination from moonlight. We found that mountain lion probability of presence was highly related with upward radiance, that is, related to lights within approximately 500 m. Despite a general pattern of avoidance of locations with high upward radiance, there were large differences in degree of avoidance among individuals. The amount of light from artificial sky glow was not influential when included together with upward radiance in the models, and illumination from moonlight was not influential at all. Our results suggest that changes in visibility associated with lunar cycles and sky glow are less important for mountain lions in their selection of light landscapes than avoiding potential interactions with humans represented by the presence of nearby lights on the ground.This article is part of the theme issue ‘Light pollution in complex ecological systems’.


Select your citation style and then place your mouse over the citation text to select it.



Usage metrics

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences


Rafael Barrientos
Winston Vickers
Travis Longcore
Eric S. Abelson
Justin Dellinger
David P. Waetjen
Guillermo Fandos
Fraser M. Shilling
need help?