Firefly tourism is on the rise in the United States. Of the more than 150 species of fireflies that occur in the US, at least five species—including the synchronous fireflies Photinus carolinus and Photuris frontalis—are of tourism interest. While this can be a boon to local economies and help more people to experience the wonder of fireflies, it also presents challenges.
In 2021, a consortium of site managers, tour operators, event planners, and firefly researchers gathered for a US Firefly Tourism Charrette to discuss these challenges, identify practical solutions, and draft a set of guidelines that could be used to promote sustainable firefly tourism. These simple guidelines are intended to help site managers understand the basic needs of fireflies and identify ways to protect fireflies and their habitats while also providing educational and viewing opportunities for visitors. For those who would like to dive a little deeper, additional resources are provided at the end of this document.