Please count our vanishing fireflies

An icon of Southern summers, fireflies, are fewer these times, and harder to find in some communities along the coast—because of urban development and forestry practices. By joining this year’s Firefly Count this Saturday, you can find out if the firefly population in your neighborhood is declining. The census is a Clemson University project. People can participate using one of the following methods: participate in the field day, submit data by the Apple app or submit data by a website survey. Researchers will analyze for potential relationships between land-use patterns, soil and litter quality and firefly abundance. Because researchers cannot be physically present everywhere fireflies appear, the public is being asked to help.  Participants are asked to count and record the number of fireflies or flashes that fly across their vehicle windows or in the shrubs and trees within view of their house windows in one minute.  They are also asked to write down the species that they observed, using the flashing patterns as a key for identification.