Cicada Swarm 2013!

WCS Expert Available To Discuss the Mass Emergence of the 17-year Cicadas

Flushing, N.Y., April 24, 2013 – New Yorkers will soon observe an event not seen since 1996: The coming mass emergence of the Brood II cicadas. After spending 17 years living underground as nymphs, these large, winged insects will emerge to live out their short adult lives above ground. As many as 1.5 million cicadas can live per acre within the entire Northeast over a span of six weeks. But if they aren’t seen by the 8 million people living in New York City, they will certainly be heard: Cicadas have a unique call that can reach a whopping 90 decibels.

As alarming as this sounds, cicadas are actually quite harmless. In fact, they have positive effects on plants and provide food for many different animals, including birds, mammals, reptiles, even other insects.

Craig Gibbs, an entomologist with the Wildlife Conservation Society, is available to discuss the following topics regarding this natural phenomenon:

What are cicadas, and why do they have such a unique life cycle?
Why do they emerge every 17 years?
When are they expected to emerge?
Is there anything to worry about and/or are they harmful?
What are the positive effects of cicadas on plants, other animals, and ecology?

What: Wildlife Conservation Society expert available to discuss the mass emergence of cicadas this spring/summer

Who: WCS entomologist, Craig Gibbs

Where: WCS’s Queens Zoo

When: Interviews available upon request

Members of the media who would like to schedule an interview should contact Barbara Russo at 718-265-3428 or

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world’s largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.

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