Ready, set, glow! The annual firefly census will launch May 31 from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. The lightning bug count will continue through the summer.
The census is part of Clemson University’s Vanishing Firefly Project that investigates the impact of human activity on firefly populations. The researchers depend on “citizen scientists” to count the fireflies and submit data via the website form or smartphone apps for Apple and Android.
“We’ve developed new software that will make it easier for people to participate,” said Alex Chow, a co-founder of the count. The project was launched in 2010 by entomologist Juang-Horng “JC” Chong and biogeochemist Chow. “The first night launches the count and we’ll post the observations as they come in, but I am hoping people will continue to report their observations throughout the summer.