Volunteers Help Track Decline in Firefly Numbers

Scientists in America are seeing fewer lightning bugs each summer and have now asked volunteers across the nation to track the bug’s range and numbers in their own backyard. The collected data and volunteer input will hopefully explain the recent decline. Possibilities include light pollution, urban development, and pesticides and fertilizers.

The first source I would use would be Stephen Hendrix, a professor for the environmental sciences department at the university of Iowa. He researches plant and animal interactions as well as the effects on plant and animal life when they come into contact with “fragmented landscapes” or landscapes that have been altered by human development. The tool I used was the University Directories/departmental listings for the University of Iowa’s Environmental Sciences programs.

The second source would be the Iowa City Astronomy Club President Dan Bastemeyer. He would be able to explain the concept of light pollution and whether or not it has increased in cities or suburban developments. If light pollution is partly the cause, he would probably be able to suggest a reason why it is happening. I found this source by using google groups.


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