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Moth Wall Project shedding light on the winged creatures found in western Newfoundland

Moth walls like this one use lights and a lightly coloured sheet to attract the winged bugs so they can be viewed and identified.
Moth walls like this one use lights and a lightly coloured sheet to attract the winged bugs so they can be viewed and identified. - Contributed

Some people are, for some reason, scared witless of them.

But anyone with an interest in moths has a chance to learn more about the flying insects.

The Canadian Forestry Service has established what it calls the Moth Wall Project and has sites in western Newfoundland. The pilot monitoring project designed to engage campers at provincial and national parks, encouraging them to obtain information about moths and to help track the biodiversity of the winged creatures found in the region.

The male polymetheus moth is a widespread species in North America.
The male polymetheus moth is a widespread species in North America.

A moth wall involves erecting a light-coloured sheet, equipped with lights to attract the mostly nocturnal moths so they can be observed, photographed and identified.

The Canadian Forestry Service has set up an iNaturalist website through which folks can upload images of the moths they’ve found and have them identified by a network of moth experts. Uploading an image will require users to set up an account, which is simple to do on the iNaturalist site.

There is also a downloadable iNaturalist app.

The Canadian Forestry Service set up a moth wall at Barachois Provincial Park in western Newfoundland last summer. This Friday night, from 9 p.m. until 2 a.m., members of the Humber Valley Natural History Society plan to go to the park and to see what kinds of moths the wall is attracting.

Other moth walls have been for Gros Morne National Park at the Berry Hill campground in Rocky Harbour and Shallow Bay campground in Cow Head.

(**This article was edited Aug. 14 to clarify that the moth walls in western Newfoundland have already been established.)

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