8 Simple Steps to Save Declining Firefly Populations
With warmer temperatures comes the magical glow of flickering fireflies against the summer night skies. There are over 2,000 species of fireflies, which are nocturnal beetles. These unique insects’ lighting patterns are used to attract mates and to ward off predators. Sadly, a new study reveals that fireflies are in danger of extinction due to human overpopulation-driven habitat loss, light pollution, and pesticides.
It's not just firefly populations in the United States that are at risk. Fireflies the world over are under threat from the same causes. Unfortunately, the study also revealed that firefly tourism is another leading cause of population decline. Tourists are eroding river banks, destroying habitats fireflies need to reproduce, and also trampling the insects at an alarming rate.
What can be done to slow or even stop firefly extinction? There are eight simple things you can do to slow down or even stop the extinction of beloved fireflies.
1) Turn off porch and other outdoor lights
Light pollution is one of the major contributors to the decline in firefly numbers. Give them a break and turn off your outdoor lights!
2) Keep an old woodpile
Providing a safe habitat for fireflies and their larvae to grow is essential to encouraging an increase in population sizes.
3) Add water features to your home's landscape
Firefly species need to live in areas with water, and love wet, marshy conditions.
4) Avoid pesticides
Pesticides are harmful to fireflies and other insects, including bees. They are also harmful to birds and contaminate waterways. Skip these toxic chemicals!
5) Plant native trees
Improving the natural habitat of fireflies can help their survival and reproduction rates. Native trees will also help other insect, bird, and animal populations in your area.
6) Let grass grow
Many species of fireflies live and lay their eggs in grasses. The more grass, the better!
7) Apply these steps as a community
It's a good start to try these things in your own yard, but to make the most significant difference, get your neighbors or city involved!
8) Leave them some wild spaces
We humans are expanding into wild animal habitats at an alarming rate, causing all wild animal and plant species to suffer severely as a result. Each day we add 220,000 more humans to the global population which results in animals losing their homes and their lives. Let's slow the 6th mass extinction by leaving animals some space!