Skip to main content

Community Science

Despite concerns about potential population declines, fireflies have received relatively little conservation attention. You can help initiate this important conversation by advocating for fireflies in your community, participating in community science projects that track their distributions, and taking steps at home to turn out your lights at night and identify, protect, and restore high-quality firefly habitat.

Recommended Citation: Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation (Xerces) and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation Mussel Project (CTUIR). [Year Accessed]. Western Freshwater Mussel Database. Available at List of contributors available at:

Have you observed freshwater mussels in western North America? Are you looking for information on western freshwater mussel distribution or occurrence in your area? The Xerces Society and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation have compiled a database of occurrence records to support research and conservation of freshwater mussels. 

To ensure healthy ecosystems, the Xerces Society’s endangered species team conserves at-risk species and their habitats through research, advocacy, education, conservation planning, and restoration. Our team of conservation biologists holds degrees in entomology, ecology, biology, and environmental science, and has decades of experience working with rare and at-risk terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates. We share a passion for conserving invertebrates that are imperiled with extinction.

For more than a decade, Xerces conservation biologists have conducted surveys to document the distribution, phenology, life history, and abundance of rare and imperiled insect species, including butterflies, bees, beetles aquatic and terrestrial snails, true bugs, and other taxa, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and other agencies. We engage in longer term projects to monitor how pollinator communities change as habitat is restored. Two such projects include a large-scale grassland restoration project by the Port of Portland and the restoration of a powerline corridor that runs through Forest Park. We develop survey protocols and guidance for public agencies to facilitate monitoring of at-risk invertebrate species.

All bumble bees belong to the genus Bombus within the family Apidae. The family Apidae includes the well-known honey bees and bumble bees, as well as carpenter bees, cuckoo bees, digger bees, stingless bees, and orchid bees. Bumble bees are important pollinators of wild flowering plants and crops. As generalist foragers, they do not depend on any one flower type. However, some plants do rely on bumble bees to achieve pollination. Loss of bumble bees can have far ranging ecological impacts due to their role as pollinators.

Monarch butterflies east of the Rocky Mountains used to number in the hundreds of millions but the population has declined by over 80%. Loss of habitat due to genetically modified crops, overuse of insecticides, and urban, suburban and agricultural development, are the leading causes of monarch decline. The Xerces Society is working with farmers, ranchers, park and natural areas managers and gardeners across the eastern US to plant milkweed and nectar plants needed for monarch’s survival.
While the Xerces Society engages in monarch conservation efforts across North America, partnering with leaders in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada - a significant amount of our work focuses on monarch populations in western states, where overwintering populations have declined by 97% since the 1980s.

Monarchs are in decline across their range in North America. Loss of milkweed host plants due to extensive herbicide use has been identified as a major contributing factor, and loss or degradation of nectar-rich habitat from other causes, natural disease and predation, climate change, and widespread insecticide use are probably also contributing to declines.