Creating a Certified Firefly Habitat

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CREATING A CERTIFIED FIREFLY HABITAT

This episode of Big Blend Radio’s Nature Connection Show features recognized firefly expert and certified naturalist, Benjamin Pfeiffer, founder of Firefly Conservation & Research, and nature photographer Margot Carrera. Watch here in the YouTube player or download the podcast on PodBean.

 


Fireflies are one of nature’s genuine wonders, but they need our protection now. Across the United States and worldwide, rapid and large-scale changes to our lands and watersheds mean fireflies are losing the habitats they once knew.

Every step we can take to protect land for the fireflies to thrive is a step towards a literally ‘brighter’ future for new generations to enjoy. Now conservationists of all experience levels can create their own certified firefly habitats in their own backyard, favorite park or nature preserve to provide a permanent place for fireflies to exist.

The Certified Firefly Habitat sign program is a first-of-its-kind sign and certification program designed to address the issues that are causing firefly habitat to decline. It was created by recognized firefly expert and certified naturalist, Benjamin Pfeiffer, founder of Firefly Conservation & Research. The program is self-guided and provides easy-to-follow instructions on how to curate your habitat so that it provides all of the elements needed for fireflies to establish an existing and growing population on your land. There have previously been certification programs, such as those offered by the National Wildlife Federation, to certify properties for all wildlife, but none for an iconic and important insect like the firefly.

“Fireflies are on the decline in many parts of the world. While the specific causes of decline vary by location, many are likely to be driven by habitat degradation and loss, light pollution, pesticide use and climate change,” says Pfeiffer. “This program helps people of all ages share our mission to protect, restore, and enhance firefly habitats. The goal is to create long-term protections that support existing populations of fireflies to thrive from generation to generation, thereby preventing them from disappearing completely.”

Those wishing to start the certification program will be asked to provide the following elements on their land:
– Undisturbed cover for adults and glowing larvae
– Plant diversity to preserve soil moisture
– Reduction of light pollution
– Restricted use of pesticide usage

An 8-page guide provides a checklist that helps conservationists meet all the requirements necessary to provide firefly habitat. The guide includes information about:
– The Firefly Life Cycle
– Types of fireflies that this program protects
– How habitat degradation and loss affect fireflies
– The impact that invasive species have on firefly habitats

– Methods to manage your habitat from surveying methods, documentation, and putting up protective barriers to prevent trampling
– Other insightful and creative ways to protect fireflies on your land and beyond.

Make a firefly haven in your own yard and join the thousands of others who have committed to providing the essential elements needed to create and sustain a healthy habitat for adult and larval fireflies. Proudly display the Certified Firefly Habitat Sign to demonstrate your commitment to protecting fireflies and designate yards, parks and preserves as a certified firefly habitat. The sign is made of recycled aluminum, is easy to read, and waterproof.

For educational information and resources about fireflies and creating a certified firefly habitat, visit https://www.firefly.org/

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