The Clemson University Vanishing Firefly Project will be holding the first of two “Count the Light” Nights on Saturday, June 27, from 8-9:30 p.m. at the South Carolina Botanical Garden.

The Clemson University Vanishing Firefly Project will be holding the first of two “Count the Light” nights  Saturday at the South Carolina Botanical Garden.
Image Credit: Ashley Jones

CLEMSON — The Clemson University Vanishing Firefly Project will host the first of two “Count the Light” nights Saturday at the South Carolina Botanical Garden to give the public the chance to count fireflies together and help researchers see if their numbers are declining.

“Count the Light” will be from 8 to 9:30 p.m. A second will be July 11.

This is the fifth year of the Vanishing Firefly Project, which invites citizen-scientists to count the number of fireflies they see in their fields of vision in 60 seconds and record them through the project’s smartphone app or website.

The data will be collected over several years from different habitats across South Carolina, the United States and other countries to determine the impact of human activity on firefly populations. Among the topics to be studied are the impacts of land-use patterns, soil and leaf litter quality, light pollution and weather.

The public is encouraged to count fireflies throughout the summer, said Michelle Cook, project co-leader and associate professor of science education in Clemson’s Eugene T. Moore School of Education.

To download the counting apps or access more information, visit the Vanishing Firefly project website and Facebook and Twitter pages.

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South Carolina Botanical Garden
The South Carolina Botanical Garden is a diverse 295 acres of cultivated landscapes and natural woodlands. Designated the state’s botanical garden in 1992, the garden is located at the intersection of Highway 76 and Pearman Boulevard at Clemson University. Admission is free and open to the public.