National Moth Week – Half-Earth

Image of a colorful moth.

The monarch butterfly may be one of the most easy to see endangered species in the US. Despite the devoted efforts of many fans, see, taking action to restore milkweed, see, this beautiful migrant species continues to decline in eastern US and especially in the west.

On July 21, 2022, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature place the migratory monarch butterfly on its Red List of threatened species and classified it as endangered. Read more from Oklahoma State University biologist Kristen Buam, who explains the listing’s implications for the monarch butterfly in the U.S.

The Half-Earth Project Educator Ambassador program provides educators with compelling, classroom-ready content designed to engage students in biodiversity science and conservation.

This week, lead Educator Ambassador Dennis Liu interviews experts about National Moth Week, the roles moth’s play in ecosystems, and the more than 400 citizen science and other educational events planned for the July 18-26 celebration.

National Moth Week 2020 – July 18-26
Learn how to be a citizen scientist during Moth Week, an international celebration of this important and beautiful group of insects. Moths are important pollinators and also an essential source of food for birds. In these times of avoiding crowds, you can observe moths easily wherever you live as they are attracted to lights at night. Visit the National Moth Week website, to learn about over 400 events worldwide, and to find out how to set up your own simple light

Moths, Lepidoptera: Biodiversity at Night
Moths are everywhere! As beautiful and more numerous than butterflies, these light-loving creatures reveal a world of biodiversity at night. This podcast from the Encyclopedia of Life, One Species at a Time, takes you on an auditory field trip to different mothing events, or as the citizen scientists call them – treasure

Image of a colorful moth.

Mothing and Our Daily Moth
John Pickering, know as Pick, is a huge fan of Biodiversity, E.O. Wilson, and especially moths! His Discover Life website has lots of information on moth biology and diversity, and a fun Daily Moth feature that can become addictive, why not check it out of moth week.

Belén Mena: Moth Art
Ecuadorian artist and visual communicator, Belen Mena, tells of how she ran away from and then toward moths. In this Ted Talk, her story and beautiful visuals will change the way we see moths forever.

Image of an animated bird.

Citizen Science with iNaturalist
Just like you can link your species observations to the Half-Earth Project’s iNaturalist page, for National Moth Week, July 18-26, you can add your moth images to the NMW iNaturalist page.

For more citizen science and interesting research on mothing, check out the following resources:

  • Join Project Noah’s Moths of the World Mission during National Moth Week by submitting your images and earning badges for your observations!
  • Check out the National Moth Week Flickr page to see over 100,000 images of moths observed by citizen scientists!
  • National Moth Week Data is available for 2018 and 2019. Use this data with your students to make observations, ask questions, discover trends, and keep the scientific thinking alive!
  • This map from Encyclopedia of Life, produced using specimen data from scientists, shows the species abundance and diversity of moths and butterflies (family Lepidoptera) all over the world. Zoom in to different regions to learn more about the moths you can expect to find in your area when the sun goes down and you turn on a light.
  • Learn about a fun citizen science-themed eco-lodge in the Peruvian Amazon Jungle center. Watch the video on the site to learn more about this amazing project and mothing in action!

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