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International Dark Sky Reserves

  • Church of the Good Shepherd at Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, New Zealand (Photo by Fraser Gunn)
  • Llanthony Priory at Brecon Beacons International Dark Sky Reserve, Wales  (Photo by Michael Sinclair)
  • 1.6-meter telescope at Mont-Mégantic International Dark Sky Reserve (Photo by Guillaume Poullin)
  • Stargazing at NamibRand Nature Reserve, Namibia (Photo by Matthew Hodgson)
  • Star trails over the observatory at Pic du Midi International Dark Sky Reserve, France (Photo by Paul Compère)
  • Star trails over the Wasserkuppe at Rhön International Dark Sky Reserve, Germany (Photo by Werner Klug)

An IDA International Dark Sky Reserve is a public or private land possessing an exceptional or distinguished quality of starry nights and nocturnal environment that is specifically protected for its scientific, natural, educational, cultural, heritage and/or public enjoyment. Reserves consist of a core area meeting minimum criteria for sky quality and natural darkness, and a peripheral area that supports dark sky preservation in the core. Reserves are formed through a partnership of multiple land managers who have recognized the value of the natural nighttime environment through regulations and long term planning.

If you are interested in applying or learning more about how to become a Dark Sky Reserve click here.

Certified IDA International Dark Sky Reserves

2016 Submission Deadline Dates

23 November 2015 25 January 2016
28 March 2016 30 May 2016
25 July 2016 26 September 2016
28 November 2016

Apply Now

Download the current Dark Sky Reserve guidelines:

Chinese translation courtesy of IDA Beijing / Starry Sky Project of China

Download the RASC-IDA Guidelines for Outdoor Lighting (GOL) in Dark Sky Parks

Helpful hints

Guidance on how to conduct a night sky quality survey

For current International Dark Sky Reserves

Writing Dark Sky Reserve Annual Reports