Friday, July 19, 2024

SAS moth presentation set to soar

| July 3, 2024 1:00 AM

The community is invited to join Selkirk Alliance for Science at its upcoming Power of Science presentation, “Shedding Light on Nocturnal Pollinators: The Critical Role of Moths and How You Can Support Them." 

The program offers a chance to learn about the beauty, diversity, role, and ecological services that moths provide will be held at the Create Arts Center, 900 W. Fourth St. in Newport at 7 p.m. July 24. Following the presentation will be a demonstration of erecting a light trap to attract and study moths.

Also, ecologist Christopher Cosma will describe known facts about moths and the dearth of knowledge regarding moths in the region.  

“With over 160,000 species worldwide, moths are one of the most diverse and successful groups of organisms on the planet," Cosma said. "Washington state is home to thousands in various shapes, sizes, and colors, some as beautiful as butterflies.”

The week of July 22-30 is National Moth Week, part of a global celebration of moths and their role in supporting biodiversity as well as ecological and agricultural services from nighttime pollination of plants. Moth caterpillars provide a high-energy food source for migrating birds and many other animals.

“Unfortunately, moth populations are declining due to habitat loss, pesticide use, climate change, and nocturnal light pollution," Cosma said. "You can help protect moths by reducing outdoor lighting and planting native species that support moths and other pollinators. You can also contribute to moth conservation by photographing moths that are attracted to lights and submitting observations to community science platforms like iNaturalist.

A fun fact shared by Cosma: Butterflies and moths belong to the insect Order Lepidoptera, deriving from the Greek language meaning "scaly winged."

The presentation is free to the public with no admission fee; however, donations are always welcome. The event is made possible by the generosity of sponsors Create, Kalispel Department of Natural Resources, and Responsible Growth NE Washington.