Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Group takes a shine to fireflies

New Straits Times

TAIPING: A team of firefly conservationists is going all out to bring the 'light' back to the mangroves.
The team calls itself KECAP, or "Pertubuhan Kelip-kelip Cahaya Alam Perak", which is working with the Malaysian Nature Society to educate and rope in the locals of Kampung Dew, near here, in firefly conservation efforts right in their backyard.

Kampung Dew is among several known areas with a thriving colony of fireflies.

Here, fireflies can be found flitting along the riverbank of the Matang Mangrove Forest and live in harmony with the locals, including fishermen and plantation workers, who depend on the mangrove habitat for their livelihood.

KECAP consists of 19 members, including patron Datuk Rosli Husin, the state assemblyman for Trong and Bukit Gantang Umno division chief. It was formed in February.

MNS president Professor Dr Maketab Mohamed told the New Straits Times yesterday that MNS, KECAP and the state government were cooperating in promoting Kampung Dew's firefly colony. The parties had now embarked on a programme called "Pesta Kelip-Kelip 2011" (Firefly Festival).

The main objective of the festival, which was launched here yesterday, is to raise awareness on the importance of the fireflies and their habitats.

Maketab said there was great concern for the rapid loss of mangroves, fresh water and peat swamps along the river systems in the country and its effect on the fireflies.

A thriving firefly colony would also provide a means for the locals of Kampung Dew to promote the village to nature lovers.
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