The Lost Ladybug Project started in 2000 when Cornell researchers coordinated with 4-H Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners surveying ladybug populations across New York State to help children become confident and competent participants in science, identifying personally with science, so that we develop a generation of adults who are engaged in scientific discussions, policy, and thinking.
Later the researchers collaborated with graduate students from the Cornell Institute for Biological Teaching to develop ladybug survey projects for children. Field-testing these projects with students at a small number of elementary schools in New York State in began in 2004.
Across North America ladybug species distribution is changing. Over the past twenty years several native ladybugs that were once very common have become extremely rare. During this same time ladybugs from other places have greatly increased both their numbers and range. Some ladybugs are simply found in new places. This is happening very quickly and we don’t know how, or why, or what impact it will have on ladybug diversity or the role that ladybugs play in keeping plant-feeding insect populations low.
Published by Cornell Institute for Biological Teaching in 2000-2009