Australia tests smart lights to help young turtles survive

The town of Zilzie, near Rockhampton in Queensland, is a turtle nesting site. The reptiles build their nests near the city esplanade. However, due to the street lighting installed in the area, there are times when the little turtles hatch they get disoriented, cannot find the horizon, and stray from the path they should take to the ocean.

Even after reaching the sea, the little ones can sometimes be “attracted” by the lights ashore, a local elected, Andrea Friend, in charge of the environment at the town council of the city. “Hatchings have a low chance of survival, with only about 1 in 1,000 reaching maturity. It is therefore vital that counseling helps maximize nesting success and turtle survival,” she explains.

The town of Zilzie is located near Rockhampton in Queensland.

In order to help the turtles, the council is testing the replacement of four street lights with connected amber-colored lamps, the intensity of which can be adjusted remotely. The lamps are connected to a LoRaWAN network. “Zilzie is a well-known nesting area for sea turtles and it is important that council takes action to protect the species. City council has contacted residents of the surrounding area to explain the changes to the street lighting, which will remain in place throughout the turtle hatching season in 2021, ”adds Friend.

Operation of the connected urban lighting system.

The LoRaWAN network infrastructure was deployed by the Australian operator telco specializing in low-speed networks NNNCo in 2019 in the city.

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