Chinese (Simplified)Chinese (Traditional)EnglishFilipinoGermanHaitian CreoleJapaneseKoreanMalayMaoriPortugueseRussianSpanishSwedish

Sustainability Requires Wildlife


ZLI Wildlife Conservation partnerships reinvent the sustainability equation, elevating the importance of animals to their proper leading place for human productivity and welfare while underscoring the importance of natural light as an integral part of habitat. ZLI welcomes wildlife conservation partnerships with institutions, corporations and community agencies desiring to protect wildlife through their developments, business operations and products. SIGN UP TODAY (it’s free) and start exploring the possible!

ZLI Partnerships create new revenue streams based in ‘Applied Photobiology’, a sub-category of ‘Applied Ecology’ so eloquently described by ZLI Board Member Dr. Ken Yeang in ‘Saving the Planet by Design‘.

Light, Wildlife and Sustainability

On the surface, the wildlife conservation goals of The Zoological Lighting Institute are fairly straightforward with respect to light: mitigate the effects of artificial lighting on animals and ecosystems, eliminate bird collisions with glass, and discover alternatives to light polarizing materials that destroy insect populations by disrupting ecologically necessary biological functions. Without attention to the destruction of ‘luminous habitat’ in rural, suburban and rural settings (which can be restored with effort), more traditional forms of wildlife conservation cannot succeed.

This sounds like a radical statement, but it is based in two very simple points. First, natural light (meaning the dynamic change of light from starlight to sunlight (even in the minute amounts buried in burrows or soil) is a fundamental aspect of organic life (animals and plants for example). Secondly, animals migrate. This means that light in cities is as important to control as light in remote areas.

Birds and Rhinos… Everything is Connected

Some widely held definitions and truisms inform our work.

In short, ZLI emphasizes the value of applied photobiology as an element of applied ecology, and a necessary component of sustainable practices. The economic, environmental and social dimensions of sustainable living can only be built upon the resources that wildlife and ecosystems provide, and wildlife and ecosystems cannot function if pressured and modified too greatly. Light, and natural light cycles, are an integral part of every individual life form and the ecosystems they partake in. When natural light is restricted, or conditions changed in too great a fashion, wildlife cannot survive and ecosystems fail. In short, natural light can be seen as a fundamental factor in human economic, environmental and social interests, though the connections need to be made explicitly.

Light has to be measured properly for photo biological assessments to be relevant. While this is well understood for water and air quality, the realization that light needs to be measured has come a bit more slowly. To understand light properly, to inform wildlife conservation adequately, one needs to rely on scientific instruments, tests and tools. ZLI Partnerships are arranged to highlight the value of light, but to be truly useful, must put data-driven science as a core value and resource.

ZLI Conservation Partnerships go a bit deeper as well. ZLI advances photo biological diagnostics to ascertain animal and environmental health (coordinating the monitoring not only internal animal health in biophysical assessments, but also of animal coloration (which cannot be fully adjudicated with human eyes). ZLI advocates understanding of the emergence of zoonotic diseases insofar as it relates both to biodiversity-loss due to light related factors and due to the presence of natural light limiting factors such as artificial light, and so seeks partnerships in the health care fields.

Every Little Bit Helps


ZLI currently offers three Wildlife Conservation Partnership opportunities, setting ‘Applied Photobiology’ targets that address the advancement of research, the application of research to preserve wildlife, and the co-marketing of eco-mimesis as a viable path forward to live more productively in tune with natural forces, including light.

  • ZLI Applied Photobiology Research Partnerships
  • ZLI Applied Photobiology Project/Product Partnerships
  • ZLI Applied Photobiology Co-Marketing Partnerships

Applied Photobiology Research Partnerships

Funding scientific research is always important, and well recognized as an economically productive undertaking. As an initiative of this particular 501 c(3), ZLI Applied Photobiology Research Partnerships have particular relevance for an incredibly valuable but particularly under-served topic, the sciences of light and life.

Partnerships are available to labs, corporations, institutions and individual researchers seeking to advance peer-reviewable work. ZLI operates in a manner similar to the US National Labs, with a host of partnerships involving the time, treasure and talent of stakeholders available. At the simplest level, funding opportunities (with naming rights) for labs, endowments, post-docs and G.I.A.R. are available. At a more involved level, ZLI undertakes cooperative research and development partnerships to explore ZLI Framework-related topics both in the field and ex-situ.

Design and Plan for Natural Light

ZLI Applied Photobiology Project/Product Partnerships

Just as independent research is vital to allow a science to produce arguments and information on its own terms, and so be more genuine and valuable as science, projects and products that impact human communities also need to refer to independent research in order to make good decisions moving forward. ZLI’s Sustainable Design Department (and indeed ZLI) was founded with the idea that research is valuable, and ought to be applied as a major factor in decision making whether this referred to animal care or wildlife conservation.

In general, ZLI recognizes that natural light comes first, in both its lowest intensity ranges as well as the highest. This means that challenges currently solved with the addition of artificial light, require alternative solutions that can do so without such an addition. Such alternatives are unapologetically meant as a replacement to a familiar technology with (unforeseen) problems. Natural light is the place to begin, but for it to be restored, much has to happen.

ZLI Applied Photobiology Project/Product Partnerships can be developed in four arenas; Planning (architecture and landscape), Fashion, Product and Art. Each espouses specific targets, resulting in light related wildlife sensitive practices aimed at improving stakeholder productivity through a deeper alignment with ecological processes.

ZLI has established targets within its Planning Segment, related to Natural Light Planning and Bird-friendly Design. Planning Partners pursue a fundraising and engagement process that results in naturally lit and bird-friendly environments through thoughtful campuses, buildings and communities. The impact of such partnerships extend far beyond local interventions, affecting habitats served by migratory animals otherwise killed by poor design choices. Unlike other interventions which are singular in nature, ZLI Planning Partnerships create a vehicle to expand impact as an ongoing relationship.

ZLI Fashion and Product Partnerships encourage fashion that makes life living with much less, even no, artificial light attractive and possible, but that also operate with biodiversity-loss mitigation in mind. These partnerships include cooperative research and development, technical assistance and strategic partnerships to advance more thoughtful approaches to living with wildlife in the world. In particular, ZLI seeks to solve problems with means other than artificial light.

Include Biodiversity Protection In Branding

ZLI Applied Photobiology Co-Marketing Partnerships

Light related biodiversity loss mitigation initiatives are new to most people. The idea that something as ephemeral as light could impact our world is a new concept to many, as thirty years ago was the idea that carbon and greenhouse gas emissions could cause global warming. ZLI encourages companies, universities and government agencies to be at the forefront of environmental protections, relevant (as ZLI describes in our campaigns) to such personal issues as mental health, poverty, food security, diversity/engagement/inclusion, agism and reproductive health.

Sponsor ZLI Grants/Scholarships/Events (New Moon Dining) / Films & Media, and help us inform your markets how to ensure their own starlit future, naturally.

zli donateDonate to ZLI

Subscribe to ZLI

No thanks.