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Firefly Extinction Imminent

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posted on May, 11 2019 @ 07:30 AM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

I used to collect prairie grass and wildflower seed and have planted them on the utility easement because it was the most open area on the property. However, the property is, and probably has been, a hardwoods swamp and because fire is essential and I never burned it, that area has never done well as "prairie" after almost 20 years. I think that this property should be a mature hardwoods consisting primarily of maple, red oak, beech and hemlock spruce on the north and white oak and white pine on the south with swamp white oak in the wet areas.

I have what I have and will work with that, but just a couple miles down the road is what used to be prairie habitat. A little further west and north is the main prairie area that became a dust bowl "desert". I had attended the first meeting where they discussed prairie restoration and management of that region. They were intent on ordering plants from outside the area, likely Illinois, while I had advocated using locally collected seed (an idea they dismissed out of hand IMO). I'm not sure what they ended up doing, but I don't think they have ever even burned that area yet and that was the best idea presented at that meeting. Typical of how management of natural resources happens unfortunately. They have their "textbook" plan with their limited "newbie" ideas, but it really needs deeper research into the original local ecosystem and advice from people who know how it should actually proceed. I think I was far more versed in the situation they ever would be and my comments were basically tossed aside during that first meeting, so I gave up on them. I was even a guest on a local public TV station on the subject of prairie restoration in Michigan and added some good insights to what the other guest, an academic expert on tallgrass prairies had to say about the basics of restoration.

There is some public land near there where the U.S. forest service did burn over some 10 years ago and it helped for a couple of years, but it needs to be burned again because it is growing over with trees. The best I could do is collect seed locally and sow it in the areas they are working on, but if I did that they would likely say, "see our management is working!" and I don't know if doing that is even legal in their eyes.

I plan on eventually starting a small nursery to grow and sell local native plants. Maybe it will become a go to source of local variety prairie plants someday. That would seem to be the best idea to help the local habitat regenerate or at least provide a small source of local species that has a place until I die.

All I can say is you're right about how people think they know what they are doing and then go forward with a management plan that is less than optimal. These plans are usually formed by a number of people and funding sources that often have other ideas and interests in mind outside of what is actually the best plan going forward. So compromises are made and many times the effort slows down or eventually gets abandoned.
edit on 11-5-2019 by MichiganSwampBuck because: For Clarity

edit on 11-5-2019 by MichiganSwampBuck because: Typo




posted on May, 11 2019 @ 01:27 PM
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a reply to: MichiganSwampBuck

While I am saddened to hear you have come face-to-face with the "enviromentalists," I can't say I am surprised. In our society, money has come to be the yardstick for success rather than results. Even if there are no other profit motives being considered, spending more on less seems to be preferable. So it is certainly no surprise to me that the "environmentalist" you encountered think buying seeds form other locations at a larger cost is preferable to collecting local seeds at minimal or no cost.

However, if you were to start a nursery, and were to offer "organic, natural, premium prairie fauna" at a high price, they would likely see it as a good thing. That's why I like your idea of starting a nursery... with the right promotion (and a little palm greasing), you could make out like a bandit and still manage to help actually restore the prairie. Psychology can be a good thing.

TheRedneck



posted on May, 13 2019 @ 08:05 AM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

Actually the idea at the meeting was to buy plants rather than seed from outside the area, a far more expensive idea that not only costs more but ignores any threatened local varieties that are perfectly adapted to our local environment. I believe that decision was considered because seeds take 3 to 4 years to become mature plants and they didn't want to wait that long for tangible results. Some 15 plus years later, quick results are a non-issue today.

It was one consideration of mine, the aspect of the increasing rareness of native plant life and the increasing awareness driving the potential demand for such. I have always been a forward thinker in regards to future trends, either I'm right on the heels of change or as much as 20 years ahead of a trend.

In the case of local native plants, one of my first thoughts was that non-native plants used in agriculture and landscaping have become so common that native species are the new exotics. A natural tallgrass prairie remnant is basically an exotic landscape now. That along with the increasing green environmental movement would ultimately make local native species a more desirable commodity. Toss in the historic significance of the lost prairie habitat and it seemed likely to become a niche that could be exploited. It would also have the added benefit of actually being proactive in regenerating a nearly extinct local habitat. That particular meeting likely sold the idea due to the potential increase in the recreational value of the area that depends on the revenue generated from outdoor recreation activities of people coming from Grand Rapids some 40 miles south of here.

My only concern was the potential of being associated with extreme environmental activism that involved destructive protests. However, green terrorism hasn't been focused on lately so that dosen't seem to be much of a concern now.
edit on 13-5-2019 by MichiganSwampBuck because: Added extra comments



posted on May, 13 2019 @ 08:28 AM
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a reply to: MichiganSwampBuck


My only concern was the potential of being associated with extreme environmental activism that involved destructive protests.

Every single person who gets all bent out of shape every time a 'protest' (aka a riot) is condemned, needs to read that. Several times.

TheRedneck



posted on May, 13 2019 @ 10:08 AM
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a reply to: Artesia

We have lots of fireflies here in central Canada. So if things become dire, we can send some over to your country, like we did with wolves, and repopulate.



posted on Jun, 4 2019 @ 07:34 AM
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I have some wild lupines growing in my rock garden, right now they are in full bloom. So I went down the street last Sunday to check out that clearing with the lupines and the endangered Karner Blue butterfly.

As I suspected, over the last 20 or so years the clearing as grown over considerably since then. I only found a few wild lupines there and none were blooming like the are in my rock garden. I also found no Karner Blue butterflies in the area, just one other kind, a single butterfly I didn't identify.

So, an unknown colony of endangered insects has been wiped out because no one interfered with the natural succession of tree growth. We do have a Karner Blue butterfly project starting in a nearby township known for having a few prairie remnants. They plan on planting wild lupines there in a "make it and they will come" concept. But how can a rare insect come to this area if they are now gone for good basically? I doubt they have a very large territory due to the limits of their habitat, so it is unlikely in my opinion that they will ever travel far enough to find this project once it is completed.

Too little, too late. We can only hope that planting wild lupines will help, but I think it may be too late in this area. Perhaps there is some other area where they still survive and they will help that area out before it's too late.

ETA: There was another post, either here or on Facebook, that was talking about the decline of fish flies. Last Saturday, when I crossed a couple of local rivers, I drove through a thick cloud of fish flies for about four miles. The guts were so thick on my windshield that I could barely see. Using the windshield washer was a huge mistake as the wiper blades smeared them into a thick paste. The fish flies are doing pretty well around here based on that incident.
edit on 4-6-2019 by MichiganSwampBuck because: Added extra comments



posted on Jun, 4 2019 @ 08:17 AM
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a reply to: Phage

I sat on my lawn in south east Virginia one June evening and was surrounded by them. The memory still brings a smile.
I grew up with the little buggers and their charm still works on me.
On Long Island in the sixties every June evening brought them out. Flickering first in the bushes and then as they sought their kind out onto the lawns and into the streets. A nightly fireworks show for free.
Sadly almost every kid I knew caught them and put them in jars to use as a night light.
Probably has a lot to do with their eminent demise.
I'm glad you got a chance to witness one. You should see a cloud of them flickering on and off around you. Enchanting.



posted on Jun, 4 2019 @ 08:37 AM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

That is magical.
A cloud of dragon flies in a patch of sunlight in the forest is almost as cool because of their size.

The damper is that the fire flies come out at the exact same time as the mosquitoes.



posted on Jun, 4 2019 @ 08:41 AM
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a reply to: Phage


But I'm sure that I've seen marvelous things that you haven't either. So, we both are lacking.


Both fortunate I think.



posted on Jun, 4 2019 @ 08:43 AM
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a reply to: Phage

Hang glide at dusk down into a meadow full of fire flies.
Ok I get a little hooky sometimes.



posted on Jun, 4 2019 @ 09:18 AM
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a reply to: charlyv

Lilac is subject to mildew where I am. They dont thrive. We had three different colors in my yard as a kid on Long Island,
Fire flies like damp warm areas.



posted on Jun, 4 2019 @ 10:08 AM
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a reply to: Sillyolme

last night they were out in droves in our front yard. Not as much in the back.

The business i run...we have stopped using chemical fertilizers and pesticides so we can promote insects. Fireflies will be one of the more dramatic ones....but we are aiming for bees and to maybe woo in some more birds. Painted Buntings have been showing up more this year, and i'd love to have them on our property for visitors to marvel at.



posted on Jun, 4 2019 @ 10:24 AM
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originally posted by: InTheLight
a reply to: Artesia

We have lots of fireflies here in central Canada. So if things become dire, we can send some over to your country, like we did with wolves, and repopulate.


No thanks all ready have enough in fact to many. If you drive at night they commit suicide on your windshield.




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