Firefly Watch Citizen Science Project

Swirling cluster of firefly flashes © Jonathan McElvery
© Jonathan McElvery

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Firefly Watch combines an annual summer evening ritual with scientific research. Join a network of citizen scientists around the country by observing your own backyard, and help scientists map fireflies.

Contact Us

You can always email us at fireflywatch@massaudubon.org.

Already Registered? 

Submit Your Observations >

Training & Project FAQ

Watch our training video and/or get answers to some of the most common questions.

Why Watch Fireflies?

Are firefly populations growing or shrinking, and what could lead to changes in their populations?

Mass Audubon has teamed up with researchers from Tufts University to track the fate of these amazing insects.

With your help, we hope to learn about the geographic distribution of fireflies and what environmental factors impact their abundance. 


Photinus ignitus © Don Salvatore
Photinus ignitus © Don Salvatore

Join the Project 

Anyone in North America can participate in Firefly Watch. All you need to do is spend at least 10 minutes once a week during firefly season observing fireflies in one location (your backyard or in a nearby field). All firefly sightings—or lack thereof—are valuable!

How to participate >

If you have participated through Museum of Science (MOS), you will need to create a new account with Mass Audubon. Any data you’ve entered on the MOS site this year is not displayed on our sighting map but will be retained.


Map of Firefly Watch observation data

Observation Data & More

View Data & Maps

View maps that show current and past firefly observation data. 

Browse Data > 

Resources to Learn More

Want to learn more about all kinds of fireflies including past and present research into these fascinating insects?

Check out these resources >