In spite of a heavy downpour a sizeable crowd turned up for the Kg. Dew Firefly Festival 2012 on Sunday, November 11. The objective of the one-day fest was to highlight the sensitivity of the fireflies that inhabit the banks of Sungai Sepetang. The habitats of these flies are under threat as their “homes” the berembang trees are being wantonly destroyed for the commercial cultivation of shrimps and freshwater fish, a major economic activity in the area.
Dato’ Hamidah, the Executive Councillor for Tourism in her welcoming speech stressed the need to preserve the fragile eco-system as its destruction might endanger the fireflies and with it the livelihood of the kampong folks.
Actions to prevent further destruction of the beetles’ habitats are underway. Tourism Perak has allocated a sum of RM11,740 to the Malaysian Nature Society to undertake survey and zoning works of the affected area. The replanting of berembang trees will proceed concurrently with the survey and zoning works.
Professor Ir. Maketab Mohamed, President of MNS, received the mock cheque for the said amount from Hamidah.
Thank you for a very good article and publicity about the Kg Dew firefly watching site.
Just a few facts that need to be clarified for the benefit of the readers:
“Tropical fireflies routinely synchronise…”
Well, the congregating fireflies in this region either synchronise their flashing or not depending on the species.
“The cause of this behaviour is linked to diet, social interaction and altitude…”
The congregation of this particular species of firefly, i.e., the Pteroptyx tener in this case (similar to the Sg Selangor firefly) is the mating behaviour of the male adult fireflies gathering together and synchronising their flashing to call for the adult female fireflies. It has nothing to do with their diet or altitude. Social interaction…mating that’s all.
“…some enterprising individuals in the village formed the Kelab Chaya Alam Perak…”
Kelip-Kelip Cahaya Alam Perak or KECAP was formed in February 2011 with the guidance of the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) in a firefly ‘ecotourism-involving-local-community-project’.
“Its objective is to promote the Kg Dew fireflies…”
Not only that… KECAP also promotes the conservation and awareness of the fireflies and its mangrove habitat.
Malaysian Nature Society