By Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
Paul Shaw, a TWRA fisheries creel agent, has taken an interest in fireflies this summer, which has led to an amazing discovery.
Intrigued by the synchronous fireflies at Elkmont in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and learning that Lynn Faust, the premiere synchronous firefly researcher in the GSMNP had them on her property near his own, Shaw set out on a mission to find other populations in east Tennessee.
His initial search in early June produced a healthy but isolated population on his densely forested property, which lies about a mile north of the Oak Ridge Wildlife Management Area.
During the next few weeks, Shaw—along with ORWMA Manager Jim Evans, former TWRA employee Wade Gefellars, and several others—formed a group called the “Firefly Team” that began visiting sites around ORWMA with hopes of discovering other synchronous fireflies. Their research areas consisted of about 30 sites, which were not arbitrary, random locations but were carefully calculated by biological factors similar to those at Elkmont. [Read more…]