Mice

Mice are often active at night and express their activity only after dusk. Much is known about the effect of light on behavior of mice in the laboratory. For example, light at night directly suppresses activity (‘masking’). And, low light levels during the night can affect the ‘daily’ activity pattern of mice. However, there is much less information on the effects of artificial light on free-ranging mice living in natural habitat. Light at night potentially has strong effects on mouse behavior in these circumstances, which may alter population densities at illuminated spots in the long run.
In the light on nature project, we measure mouse activity under our light posts, and study the different effects of light of different color. In addition, we look at changes in nightly activity patterns and monitor latent changes in population density over time.

Mice are active at night and artificial light may be stressful. However, very little is known about the effects of artificial light on mice under natural conditions

Mice are active at night and artificial light may be stressful. However, very little is known about the effects of artificial light on mice under natural conditions (photograph: Kamiel Spoelstra).