Public asked to participate in West Virginia firefly project

Photo courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia officials are asking for the public’s help to learn more about the decline of the state’s firefly population.

Residents are being asked to collect and submit data on firefly sightings under the guidance of State Zoologist Mack Frantz and the state Division of Natural Resources, officials told the Charleston Gazette-Mail. Biologists hope to learn more about the number of species that make up the state’s lightning bug population and the scope of its decline.

Possible causes for the reduction in fireflies includes habitat loss, light pollution and pesticide use.

“Many people have fond memories of chasing lightning bugs when they were kids,” Frantz said. “We want to make sure these insects thrive so future generations can enjoy this magical experience.”

Guidelines for participating in the project available online.

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