Where have all the ladybugs gone? The Lost Ladybug Project would like the answer to that question.
Over the past 20 years, the ladybug distribution in North America has been changing. Native ladybugs that were once very common have become rare while non-native ladybugs have increased in number and range.
According to The Lost Ladybug Project, scientists aren't sure why this is happening or how it will impact the role that ladybugs play in keeping plant feeding insect populations low.
The Lost Ladybug Project in a nonprofit organization that is focused on promoting citizen science and science education to children. It was founded in 2000 when researchers from Cornell began surveying ladybug populations in New York.
The Lost Ladybug Project asks that both researchers and citizen scientists (like you!) take on your own ladybug search and submit your findings to their website. As of today, The Lost Ladybug Project has received 22,015 ladybug finding contributions.
I happened to be taking photographs a couple of weeks ago and snapped a photo of a ladybug on our kitchen wall. I almost forgot about it until the kids and I went on a ladybug hunt in our yard today.
I went back and found the photo on my laptop and submitted it to The Lost Ladybug Project website. All you have to do is answer some questions and submit your photo.
That's not all. Researchers for the project would also like to know if you didn't find any ladybugs. Reporting this information also requires answering just a few questions.
The kids were really excited about going on our ladybug hunt this morning. They checked our wildflower garden, grass, sandbox and trees. We didn't have any luck today, but we're keeping our eyes open for ladybugs from now on.
On their hunt today, they found ants, sow bugs, a centipede and several spiders. Even though no ladybugs were found, they still had fun doing their duty as citizen scientists.
We'll keep up the search for ladybugs and you can too. If you take on your own ladybug search, be sure to photograph your findings and head over to The Lost Ladybug Project by clicking here. Happy researching!
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