Letter: New Canaan’s ‘Firefly Sanctuary’ One of a Kind

Last Wednesday I had the pleasure to deliver a lecture on local firefly species and firefly conservation to nearly 100 enthusiastic naturalists at the New Canaan Library. The invitation to speak was organized by Board Members of the New Canaan Land Trust, and was followed by a wonderful evening visit to the Land Trust’s Firefly Sanctuary. I have traveled the world studying fireflies for over 20 years, and while the United States boasts many beautiful nature preserves where fireflies can be observed, New Canaan’s is the first dedicated Firefly Sanctuary I have encountered in the United States. The firefly show was magical that evening, and included at least three different species of fireflies. I congratulate your community for the farsightedness of preserving habitat for the beautiful, bioluminescent courtship displays of adult firefly species and their glowworm larvae that serve as an important apex predator of the woodlands and meadow soils. I encourage anyone who wants to learn more about these efforts and opportunities to get involved to visit the New Canaan Land Trust website, and for more on other ways to get involved in protecting fireflies, please consider joining the Firefly Watch Project sponsored by Mass Audubon.