Our firefly friends are disappearing …
Many of us have wonderful childhood memories of catching fireflies on warm summer evenings. They lit up our backyards like a fireworks display and left us laughing with delight. There were so many fireflies gently gliding through the darkness, it was easy to catch them in glass jars and watch their lights magically blinking on and then off again before we let them go.
Our children and grandchildren may not experience the magic and wonder of fireflies because they are disappearing from fields, lakes, marshes and forests all over the United States and around the world. If we don't do something to protect them, they may be gone forever.
Researchers think that over development and light pollution are two main reasons for the decline in firefly populations. All fireflies, both male and female, flash their lights to communicate, attract mates, defend their territory and warn off predators.
At night, light pollution from apartments, strip malls, housing developments and commercial buildings makes it difficult for fireflies to signal each other during mating season so fewer are born each year.
We can help the fireflies by turning off outside lights at night. By doing this, they will be able to signal each other with flashes in the darkness and find mates to increase their populations.
Over time, this simple act will help firefly populations across our country and the world to recover and allow future generations to experience the joy of fireflies, just as we did.
To learn more about fireflies and light pollution, including ways to help your local community reduce the lighting it uses at night, visit FireFly.org, DarkSky.org and DarkSkyInitiative.org.
We can save our dark skies and our fireflies so future generations can enjoy them!