Are Summer Fireflies Endangered Of Dying Out All Across New York State?
Maybe one of your favorite sites of summer across Upstate New York is fireflies. Are they endangered to disappear forever?
This author has noticed a huge down-tick in seeing them this summer. I live in New Hartford, and noticed I barely saw any this summer. Growing up in Westmoreland and Rome, you'd see hundreds every night early in the summer. I believe I saw less than 10 if that this summer. Did you see more where you live? Where are they?
According to New York Almanack, firefly watching is becoming increasingly rare:
Populations are declining due to habitat loss, light pollution, and the use of chemical pesticides. To increase the chances of spotting these flashing insects, biologists recommend turning off outdoor lights, leaving unmown areas, and avoiding pesticides and chemical fertilizers.
There are roughly 2,000 firefly species worldwide, and about 170 in North America, including some 20 species that live in Northern New England and New York. It's sad that they are disappearing.
How To Help Save Them Across New York State
Mongabay has helpful tips we should all follow to help save the population:
- Turn off outside lights at night.
- Let logs and natural forest canopy litter accumulate.
- Create water features in your landscape.
- Avoid the use of pesticides, especially lawn chemicals.
- Use natural fertilizers.
- Don't over-mow your lawn.
- Plant native trees.
The best thing you can do to support fireflies is to stop using lawn chemicals and broad-spectrum pesticides. Firefly larvae eat other undesirable insects, so they are nature's natural pest control. There is much more information about disappearing fireflies and what we can do to help. You can read more online here.