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Fireflies: Researchers need your help with study

If you are a Mountain State resident who during recent years has decided to show your children or grandchildren the wonderful, beautiful spectacle of fireflies, you may have been disappointed. There are significantly fewer of the delightful bugs in our state. Full-blown backyard light shows are becoming something of a rarity.

Scientists would like to know what happened and why. They want the public’s help.

West Virginia residents are being asked to participate in a study of fireflies. Researchers hope data from many people throughout the state can illuminate the situation and perhaps, help guide scientists to learning whether anything can be done about it.

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

One key to public participation is to observe and report the specific information researchers need. If you are interested — and we hope you are — more information can be obtained at the state Division of Natural Resources website: wvdnr.gov. Once there, look on the right side of the page for the heading, “Special Activities: Wildlife.” Click on the red “Report Fireflies” link.

When you go out to do your research, don’t forget to take the youngsters with you.

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