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White light vs Infrared...

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Anonymous
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White light vs Infrared...

Can owls, or other nocturnal critters, see better at waterholes if either (or) white light/infrared light is available?

Does any form of artificial lighting help predatory animals - or prey animals - and/or does it hinder (read intefere with) any of them?

Anonymous
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Thanks Todd
I am, of course, aware that the 'white light' of the tracker beam, used on Game Drives, can interfere with the predator-prey relationship if incorrectly used.

I assume then that all lit-up waterholes are fitted with infrared lights but I wonder, is it not possible for Game Drive Vehicles to have an (extra) infrared beam, in order that it could be used for watching the animals at night once they have been 'spotted' by the white light beam?

I was once 'ordered' by a guide on a KNP night drive, to shine the white light beam (which I was controlling) on the heads of some elephants - and then again on a herd of impala - so that the other tourists could take pictures. Sheesh!

Needless to say I flatly refused to do so, much to the annoyance of both the guide and a couple of the tourists, though most were reasonably bush-wise and agreed with/accepted my stance.

Anonymous
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Other than some snake species, very few species can "see" in the infra red, the presence of infra-red should have no influence on nocturnal visitors to the pan.

The usual nocturnal visitors will have exceptionally good "night vision" under ambient light conditions. The presence of white light will certainly affect this ability for both predator and prey.

Extracts from the WidlifeCampus Game Ranging + Behavour Guide Courses

Nocturnal (or crepuscular ) species and have evolved the ability to see quite well in very low light conditions. They achieve this through their pupils that can dilate extraordinarily well. This is further enhanced by the presence of a tapetum. This is a reflective layer at the back of their eye socket that nature has specifically designed to gather all available light. The presence of a tapetum is not a specific carnivore characteristic but is common to many mammals.

Cats can see at least 6 times better than humans can in the dark, daylight vision abiity is roughly equal.

Most spiders have eight eyes, often in two rows of four eyes each. Spiders' eyes are the most efficient of all the arachnids. The eyes of many cursorial species have a well-developed tapetum that aids in gathering light onto the retina and therefore improves night vision. The eyes of these species are often seen in the beam of a spotlight during night drives in the bush. It remains uncertain whether or not spiders can differentiate colour.

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