There is something so magical about spotting a firefly on a warm, summer night. It’s mesmerizing to watch the sporadic glow from the unique beetle, but I’ve never been lucky enough to catch any.

There is still a lot to learn about fireflies and Mass Audubon has teamed up with researchers from Tufts University to track these beetles. Are firefly populations growing or shrinking? Mass Audubon wants your help in finding out, and Project Firefly Watch could be a fun summertime activity for the family.

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“With your help, we hope to learn about the geographic distribution of fireflies and what environmental factors impact their abundance,” said Mass Audubon.

Pick a Location

According to Mass Audobon, to participate in Firefly Watch, all you have to do is spend at least 10 minutes a week during firefly season observing fireflies in one location.

Before reporting, you’ll be asked to provide basic details like wind, temperature, and habitat type.

Observe the Flash Patterns

Count the number of flashing fireflies you see over the course of 10 minutes in three- to 10-second periods, as well as the number of flashing patterns. Record it on the online portal, and your job is done.

Mass Audubon conveniently provides participants with tools on how to safely observe fireflies, specific questions to submit answers to, and a visual guide on different firefly patterns.

These little lightning bugs are curious little creatures. Get the family together this summer and start tracking them in the name of science.

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