This is just a note on fireflies and other living creatures. I found an article about a scientist who finds new sub-species of fireflies. The scientist is Christopher Heckscher and he searches the wild places of New England for fireflies. He has found several species of fireflies that were hitherto unknown.

What I found illuminating was that these new sub-species often live only in specialized environments. It behooves us to pay attention here because we humans destroy habitat all the time. Often because we assume that animals and plants will just move elsewhere. This is an unwise assumption. For example, “The Xerces Society and another wildlife conservation organization, the Center for Biological Diversity, filed a petition with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2019 for an emergency listing under the Federal Endangered Species Act for the Bethany Beach firefly, the species Heckscher rediscovered back in 1998… The petition noted that houses are being built on one of the last between-dune wetlands with an abundance of Bethany Beach fireflies.” (Bodin, 2023) A ruling may happen in 2024. This petition has been languishing among the Federal corridors for five years. How many houses have been built on those wetlands since 2019?

The number of animal species that have become extinct during recent times is staggering. A United Nations report provides this summary. “The average abundance of native species in most major land-based habitats has fallen by at least 20%, mostly since 1900. More than 40% of amphibian species, almost 33% of reef-forming corals and more than a third of all marine mammals are threatened. The picture is less clear for insect species, but available evidence supports a tentative estimate of 10% being threatened. At least 680 vertebrate species had been driven to extinction since the 16th century and more than 9% of all domesticated breeds of mammals used for food and agriculture had become extinct by 2016, with at least 1,000 more breeds still threatened.” (da Silva, 2019)

In my June 2023 column, I discussed how we can make our home backyards more welcoming to fireflies. Now, I think we must project our care wider to save those wild lands that still exist and the animals that depend on them for survival.

References

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About Author

Deepy (Deepthinker Oh) is an educational psychologist with a long standing love of journalism and previous experience as the editor of MANIERA magazine. Deepthinker Oh's use of the SLBN logo does not constitute approval by or a representation or endorsement from Linden Lab.

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