Thousands lived on berembang tree
Henry Fairfield Osborn, a famous American naturalist, once wrote that nature is an " active, purposeful, coordinated machine. Each park is dependent of he whole. Forests, grasslands, soils, water, animal life; without one of these, the earth will die, will become dead as the moon." Fireflies are part of a bigger picture, as is everything else in nature.
Let the fireflies' living environment remain forever in it's natural state. Not only will this benefit all flora and fauna of the area. Generally, what is good for the fireflies will also be good for the people. The decreasing numbers in the firefly population serve as a symbol, a beacon, which is flashing an alarm to save not only them, but rivers too. our rivers are home to these priceless creatures, and when we act with ignorance or unconcern, it is imminent that we will lose one of our greatest national treasure.
A Fireflies True Experience
As the boat slowly glides down the river on a moonless night, a flicker of light appears. It suddenly grows into a brilliant display with thousands more lights illuminating the trees lining the riverbanks. Imagine decorative Christmas lights or a galaxy of stars twinkling right in front of you. This is the light show of the fireflies. It is an experience of a lifetime, and it' is being threatened by many factors.
The firefly is a type of insect from the beetle family. They flash in the night for the purpose of attracting mates and generating birth. The flashing behaviour begins just after sunset, and continues till just before sunrise.
The light is produced inside the firefly by two chemicals mixing with each other and oxygen in the process called bioluminescence. The firefly is one of the only three out-of-water species that has this remarkeble feature (the other two are a worm and a type of fungus). One of the firefly species found here is unique in that it blinks in sync. Malaysia is the only one of the few places in the world where this kind of firefly colonies are still found.
Important of Fireflies
Chemicals found in fireflies are needed in the advancement of medicine and science throughout the worlds. They are used in research on cancer, multiple sclerosis and heart disease. Detectors, using these chemicals, have been places in spacecrafts to look for life forms in outer space. other detectors warn of food or water contamination by bacteria. The bioluminescence process of the firefly is applier in the study of muscular dystrophy, urology, antibiotic testing, wastewater treatment and environmental protection.
In addition to it's medical and scientific value, our fireflies have high value for eco-tourism. They have generated worldwide interest and serve as a unique attraction to foreign nature lovers. By boosting out tourism industry, this natural phenomenon helps contribute to the national economy. for villages where firefly colonies are found, the revenue from tourism become a good side income. It has contributed towards improving the financial status ands lifestyle of there villages.
Habitat and Food Resource
Fireflies live in inter tidal zones. The synchronous on mangrove trees that grow wildly along riverbanks. These trees, known locally as berembang, are the only known mangrove species to have an ecological role as a habitat for fireflies to dwell on at night. Fireflies are also dependent on this tree for food. The adult fireflies take in the dew that forms on the leaves, while their larvae feed on snails found in the mud below.
The fireflies are dependent completely on the berembang trees, on which they live on and get their food source ) which are the snails, which also depends on the berembang.). But of course, the berembang trees are dependent on the river. If it is polluted or there is saltwater intrusion, then the berembang tree also suffer. With the lives of the fireflies and the berembang trees delicately interconnected to the river, every care has to be taken to sustain the river and it's surrounding environment.
The Key To Enduring Preservation
The Aztecs used the term firefly symbolically, meaning a spark of knowledge in a world of ignorance. This brings up an effective way that will help the fireflies' flight for survival. To achieve enduring preservation of the firefly and it's living environment, it is necessary to educate children and their parents respect nature. One way is to teach our children not just reading, writing and arithmetic, but how to be young environmentalists.