13 June 2019 (Thursday) – Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) Director General (DG) Dato’ Dr Abd Latif Mohmod visited Kampung Dew, Sungai Sepetang, Taiping, Perak recently to inspect the firefly habitat in the area and had a discussion with local communities.
He met with several community representatives involved in the firefly ecotourism activities in the area to have better understanding on the firefly-related issues they were facing. FRIM Entomologists, Veronica Khoo and Dr Phon Chooi Khim, also shared information on their firefly research as well as their experience in firefly conservation.
|Abd Latif (middle, in blue shirt) discussing with local communities.||Firefly (Pteroptyx tener) found in Kampung Dew.|
“Habitat conservation is critical for the sustainability of firefly populations. It is also an iconic attraction for Malaysia and FRIM is committed to playing a role as the driving force in the conserving this unique insect,” said Abd Latif.
Some recommendations for conservation measures were presented, namely:
- raising awareness among the local community on the importance of environmental conservation;
- reducing light pollution in firefly habitats as artificial lights interfere with their behavior in finding mates for population continuity;
- replanting appropriate tree species along riparian areas; and
- gazetting a buffer zone of at least 50 meters on both sides of the riverbank to curb the incidences of encroachment and pollution.
In response to a news article in Berita Harian (BH) on 22 February regarding the irresponsible actions of certain parties in cutting berembang trees in the Kampung Dew firefly habitats, the FRIM DG issued a statement published on 27 February by BH, emphasising the importance of conserving natural riparian habitats for the survival of fireflies.