Despite worldwide restrictions and lockdowns preventing participation in many summertime activities, the ninth annual National Moth Week – held in July 2020 – broke several records and attracted hundreds of new “moth-ers.”
With mothing one of the safest, most enriching activities that families and individuals could do in their own backyards during the pandemic, National Moth Week attracted 573 new participants among a total of 915 registrations – surpassing the previous high of 585 registrations. They were from 53 countries – another record. Joining the global citizen science event for the first time were Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Madagascar, Mauritania and Uganda. Once again, the U.S. and India had the most registered events.
While the majority of events were private in keeping with state and local pandemic regulations, many organizations created virtual mothing events through Zoom and traditional webinars. Staten Island (NY) Museum’s Moth Night Discovery Kit, was downloaded all over the US. NMW’s blog also featured tips and videos on backyard mothing by NMW Team member Carl Barrentine. Visit the NMW blog page for informative blogs by team members and guest bloggers.
Media articles on National Moth Week events and celebrations were carried all around the world and were featured on many nature and environmental blogs. Among the highlights was the home page of the Bing search engine on July 18 dedicated to National Moth Week, a video interview with the E.O. Wilson Foundation’s Dennis Liu, an interview with Colin McEnroe on WNPR and a feature on the PBS Nature site.
National Moth Week is one of the most widespread citizen science projects in the world, observed in over 90 countries and all 50 USA states to date. Since it was established in 2012, National Moth Week has introduced thousands of people of all ages to the beauty and ecological importance of moths. The NMW initiative has encouraged environmentalists, entomologists and other scientists to share their expertise with the wider public in order to encourage an appreciation for moths.
Within a few months, this year’s participants will receive a beautiful certificate via email designed by NMW artist and team member Belén Mena.
Plans are underway for the tenth annual National Moth Week 2021 with anticipation of setting new records and introducing more people to mothing around the world! Don’t let anyone tell you moths aren’t beautiful!
Happy mothing from the National Moth Week team! (Editor’s note: some members of the team, including the NMW founders, are staff and alumni of Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences).