Great Smoky National Park Service Announcement: March 2, 2023: We’re about 4 months away from Synchronous
Firefly season here in the Smokies,

but Park entomologist Becky Nichols is already working to estimate when the lightnin’ bugs will begin to light up the night sky!

Temperature readings are a huge factor in predicting when the Synchronous Fireflies will...well...synchronize! There is a direct correlation between temperature and firefly metamorphosis (the rate in which insects go through their life cycle).
Pictured above is an instrument called an iButton. This instrument helps Ranger Becky track the development of these insects by collecting temperature readings every hour through late winter into spring. This instrument is placed just under the soil and in the trees where the firefly larvae reside.
You can help protect these blinking beauties and other soil dwelling species by staying on trail so you don't accidentally crush them!

ESTIMATED Dates and Information for the 2023 Firefly Lottery

April 25, 2023: Firefly viewing dates announced.
April 28, 2023: Lottery for vehicle passes opens at 10:00 a.m.
May 1, 2023: Lottery for vehicle passes closes at 8:00 p.m.
May 11, 2023: All lottery applicants will be notified if their application was successful/unsuccessful.

Parking Confirmation will be distributed via a lottery on Recreation.gov – Firefly Event page.

During the lottery application, you may choose two dates you would like to attend - your preferred choice and an alternate date.

All lottery applicants will be notified that their application was SUCCESSFUL (and are awarded vehicle parking confimation) or UNSUCCESSFUL (and were not awarded vehicle parking confirmation)

**Lottery winners will be charged a $1.00 application fee. Successful applicants will automatically be awarded parking passes and $24.00 will be charged to the same credit or debit card used for the application fee.(collected on Recreation.gov) to help cover the cost of viewing supplies and nightly personnel to manage the viewing opportunity near Elkmont Campground.
 

Learn more here

WNCTIMES says don't miss out! Whether you're a nature enthusiast or simply looking for a unique and unforgettable experience, the synchronous firefly season in the Great Smoky Mountains is not to be missed. Plan your visit and prepare to be awed by the beauty of nature's light show.

The synchronous firefly displays in the Smokies are not only a stunning natural wonder, but also a reminder of the importance of preserving and protecting our natural world. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the most biodiverse areas in the United States, and events like the synchronous firefly season serve as a powerful reminder of the beauty and fragility of our natural world.

In addition to the synchronous fireflies, visitors to the Smokies can enjoy a variety of other outdoor activities, such as hiking, fishing, and wildlife watching. The park is home to a wide range of wildlife, including black bears, elk, and a variety of bird species.

WNCTIMES by Marjorie Farrington

NPS Photo


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