Since its launch last year, Firefly Watch has generated a lot of interest among the general public about the decline in firefly numbers. It seems that since we started this project, there have been more articles about firefly decline, more scientists expressing their concern, and more visitors to our Museum bemoaning the fact that they don't see fireflies like they used to. It is heartening to see that so many people have joined Firefly Watch in the hopes of reversing this trend.
So, imagine my dismay when I received an email from Mary, one of our Firefly participants, with an article from a Tennessee newspaper about a chemical company offering to pay $12 an ounce - that's over 600 fireflies -- to harvest their light-producing chemicals to be used in research. For most of us, collecting an ounce of fireflies would eliminate all the fireflies in our habitat and more! The truly sad part is that for over 20 years, scientists have been able to synthetically manufacture these same chemicals.
If you would like to learn more about this problem and what you can do to help, check out the Flash Together Now website.
Museum of Science
To join Firefly Watch visit https://www.mos.org/fireflywatch/