In observance of National Moth Week, fellow citizen scientists will be setting up white sheets and lights on dark porches, city streets, backyards, fields and woods throughout the country and around the globe in order to observe and document one of nature’s most diverse – and misunderstood – creatures.
National Moth Week literally shines a much-needed spotlight on moths and their ecological significance. There are hundreds of thousands of moth species, many of them as beautiful as their colorful cousins – butterflies – and just as important to the ecosystem. Moths also can tell us a lot about our changing environment by their geographical and seasonal distribution.
The week long event allows people of all ages and abilities to become “citizen scientists” and contribute scientific data about the moths they observe in their own communities.
In its first year in 2012, National Moth Week attracted participants in 49 states and 29 countries outside the U.S., who registered 307 event locations. Moth events took place in diverse settings, from the streets of Manhattan to remote sites in Costa Rica, Kenya and Gambia.
Numerous organizations around the world have partnered with National Moth Week and are supporting the event. Through partnerships with major online biological data depositories, National Moth Week participants can help map moth distribution and provide needed information on other life history aspects around the globe.
Partners include Project Noah, Encyclopedia of Life, Discover Life, and the USDA Agricultural Research Service. Many partner websites are repositories for data and photos about moths and other organisms.
For more information about National Moth Week, visit www.nationalmothweek.org.