Growing up in Nebraska around fireflies, I was enthralled with their beauty. On balmy summer nights I would go to a small undeveloped area a couple blocks from my home and watch the firefly mating ritual while a chorus of crickets chirped in the background. Males would flash to attract mates and females would flash to show they were receptive—and some of them I would put in a jar to view up close.
Unfortunately, these creatures may be absent from our grandchildren’s summertime memories. Fireflies, like bees, butterflies, and so much else, appear to be in decline—and here at Xerces we intend to do all we can to prevent a future devoid of these magical jewels of the night.
I want to thank you for your proven confidence in Xerces. Your past support has enabled us to protect a variety of invertebrates and to protect and restore 2.5 million acres of quality habitat. Your continued support is needed today to help us expand these efforts to protect all deserving insects, because no one wants to live in a world without fireflies.
Fireflies are important components of natural ecosystems, with immense biological and economic value. We don’t know the exact causes of their reported declines, but they likely include some combination of habitat degradation and loss, light pollution, pesticide use, over-collection for the biomedical industry, climate change, and introduced species. Regardless of the specific reasons, researchers agree that protecting, restoring, and enhancing habitat is one of the best ways to conserve fireflies.
Ensuring that the rarest species do not slide into extinction takes time and resources. With your help, we can put our team of conservation scientists to work: undertaking applied research with university scientists to understand the most effective strategies to protect and restore habitat; collecting baseline data on their populations and distributions; reaching out broadly to people across North America to engage them in firefly conservation; and providing the technical assistance and support so people can take action for the benefit of these animals.
We know that the preservation of our natural world is important to you. All around us, species are in decline and we will not stand idly by. Please help us halt these alarming trends by making a tax-deductible year-end gift today.
Thank you for all you do.
Scott Black, Director