Is the firefly population in your neighborhood declining? This is a very difficult question to answer because no long-term monitoring of the firefly population is in place to suggest an answer one way or another. The decline or increase in firefly sightings or population depends on several factors, among which habitat type, housing development, light and other chemical pollution may be responsible. The Clemson University Vanishing Firefly Project was launched in 2010 to help answer the question of “are there really fewer fireflies around my neighborhood?” The goal of this program is to collect data from different habitats across South Carolina and other states over several years to determine the population trend of fireflies. Because researchers cannot be physically present everywhere fireflies appear, we need you, the citizen scientists, to participate in the Vanishing Firefly Project and help with collecting the data.
Before you begin counting please have a look at the interactive tutorial and its animated flash patterns which you can get to from the main screen of Firefly Counter. Once you've run through it you're ready to start counting! Once you've finished counting for 60 seconds you'll need to pick what kind of environment you were in when you counted and what kind of fireflies you saw. You'll also need to let the app measure the light intensity of where you were. When you're ready press submit, and it's just that easy.
Once you're done you can see what results you've submitted to the project from the main screen as well as any that are pending upload. You can also see all the results, including yours, on the project's map at http://firefly.clemson.edu as soon as they are submitted. Have any questions or just want to learn more about fireflies? Like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ClemsonFireflyproject or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ClemsonFirefly.