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Less light pollution - More Fireflies! Washington Post today

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#1 TonyInHonduras


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Posted 27 May 2024 - 11:02 AM

WAPO, Int'l DarkSky and saving firelies​... A beautiful story on bringing back Fireflies. Dark sky options, and much more we can easily champion...


How to create a firefly-friendly backyard

By Bridget Reed Morawski
May 23, 2024 6:00 a.m. CST


... "Reverse light pollution

All the artificial light humanity bathes itself in — 99% of Americans and Europeans live with light pollution, according to DarkSky International — limits fireflies’ ability to find one another. Some glow worms will head toward lights because they prefer a continuous glow, but “the flashing fireflies that we have in the U.S., they almost never show up at lights,” says Avalon Owens, an entomologist whose lab at the Rowland Institute at Harvard University focuses on how organisms and ecosystems handle artificial light pollution.


The darker your yard, the more likely fireflies are to flock to it. Dimming outdoor lights is a good place to start, but it can go only so far, Owens says.



“If we dim our streetlights to the level that’s acceptable to humans, that’s going to be way brighter than the level that doesn’t disturb insects because [they] have incredibly good vision,” she says. “They’re much better at seeing in the dark than we are. Something that seems dim to us will seem very bright to them, especially fireflies.”



The same limitation applies to shielding your lights, usually with the goal of not beaming light into the night sky. Because fireflies fly around the height of a child, shielding the sky doesn’t help them.


Instead, consider cones or lights with shields that direct the light down and away from trees and other flora. DarkSky International maintains a list of recommended fixtures. Swapping your green, yellow or orange outdoor bulbs for red-tinged ones, or installing red gel filters on existing fixtures, can also help. Fireflies “don’t see red very well,” Owens says, and they’re less similar to the insects’ own glow.


Or you could try adding timers and motion sensors to lights, so they’re only in use when needed. An even better option, though, is to just carry a flashlight, Owens says. “It’s there when you need it and not there when you don’t need it.”...




I, for one, miss them dearly...

Edited by TonyInHonduras, 27 May 2024 - 11:11 AM.

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