Here at Tower Hill, we love fireflies, and even host several firefly walks throughout the summer to connect visitors with these fascinating insects and the habitats they live in.
But have you ever got the feeling there may be fewer fireflies today than in decades past? Now there is a way for you to help experts determine the health of the firefly population.
Mass Audubon and Tufts University have teamed up to track the plight of the firefly and are seeking volunteers to take place in their Firefly Watch citizen science project.
It’s easy to participate in Firefly Watch. All you need to do is spend 10 minutes once a week during firefly season observing fireflies in one location (your backyard or in a nearby field). All firefly sightings—or lack thereof—are valuable. This website explains how to participate.
Are firefly numbers actually decreasing? If so, is this a result of nighttime light pollution, a shrinking habitat, or something else? Researchers can’t be everywhere at once, so your observations can be a very valuable tool.
And you can make a difference in your own yard by creating a habitat that is beneficial to fireflies, pollinators, and other beneficial insects, by planting native species, laying off the landscape managing chemicals, and allowing portions of your land to go wild.