Monday, July 16, 2012

Shrimp ponds posing a threat to firefly colony

Shrimp ponds posing a threat to firefly colony

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CALL FOR HELP: Villagers want govt to act quickly

TAIPING: ON a moonless night, most fishermen would not risk going to the river without a torchlight.
But for those in Kampung Dew, near here, it is the best time to enjoy the luminescence from thousands of fireflies on the trees lining the banks of Sungai Sepetang.
Fisherman Yusop Ishak, or Wahab as he is fondly known as, recalled a time when the natural glow from the insects was so bright that it was redundant to rely on any equipment for light.
"It was not necessary to hold a torchlight or lantern to manoeuvre in the river.
"It was bright enough for us to see what catch we had netted in our traps.
"But that was more than 50 years ago."
The 60-year-old, who was born and bred in the village, said the scene remained the same today, albeit with a slightly lower luminosity.
"The firefly population was at its peak back then and the residents have been carefully trying to preserve their number.
"We know there are at least some 140 trees here which are frequently lit up with the glow of the insects."
However, Yusop has noticed that the number of fireflies has been dropping since last year following the establishment of commercial shrimp ponds in the area.

Read more: Shrimp ponds posing a threat to firefly colony - General - New Straits Times

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