24 December 2018 (Monday) – A team of researchers from the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) Entomology Branch participated in a sago (Metroxylon sagu) tree planting programme at Tanjung Beluntas located just across the river from Kampung Kuantan Firefly Jetty on 8 December 2018.
The programme, organised by the Land/District Office in collaboration with the Standing Committee of Environment and Green Technology, was officiated by Kuala Selangor District Officer, Tuan Shamsul Shahril Badzila Mohd Noor.
|Kuala Selangor District Officer Shamsul Shahril Badzila (third from right) officiated the tree planting programme with Mukim Pasangan Village Head Mohd Rizan Haron (far right).||FRIM staff (in black t-shirt) briefed on the techniques to plant sago saplings|
A total of 50 sago saplings were planted by the local community, led by the Mukim Pasangan Penghulu Mohd. Rizan Haron, comprising village heads and representatives from state exco on tourism, Permatang exco, Kuala Selangor District Council (MDKS) and Selangor Waters Management Authority (Lembaga Urus Air Selangor – LUAS).
The planting of sago trees will benefit the population of the snails that the firefly larva feeds on. Studies conducted by FRIM has indicated that this snail, Cyclotropis carinata, and the firefly larva thrive in areas with sago stands. Therefore, while efforts to replant the display trees along the river are lauded, emphasis should also be given to conserve and maintain the natural vegetation behind the display trees to ensure sustainability of the firefly population.
|FRIM researchers posing for a picture after the tree planting.|
Tanjung Beluntas is in the Protection Zone under LUAS enactment and eight years ago, the degraded land was reacquired by the Selangor Government for the rehabilitation of firefly habitat. FRIM under the supervision of the Ecophysiology Branch, led by Dr Ang Lai Hoe, has been actively involved in the rehabilitation activities of the area since 2011.