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Congregating fireflies (Congregating fireflies)

Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 12253022

Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation (Project No. 12253022) - Congregating fireflies - Awarded $10,000 on February 08, 2012

The Kuala Selangor Nature Park (KSNP) is one of the Congregating Firefly Zone in Malaysia (MBZ SCF: 0925338), hosting two congregating firefly species  (Colophotia spp. and Pteroptyx valida). These fireflies are found on the display trees on the bunds along the lake and canals, together with another roving firefly (Pyrocoelia spp.). However, not much is known about the biology and ecology of the fireflies in relation to habitat changes, and therefore the direct and indirect impacts on the firefly population. This is especially so, when the KSNP lake system is being rehabilitated to create back a roosting site for migratory waterbirds, as the nearest roosting site will not be available soon. This may have an impact on the firefly’s habitat, which we do not know the extant. The firefly is part of the ecosystem where the firefly larvae being a predator which controls the population of tiny snails (pest) or other invertebrates. Firefly species are yet to be protected, and therefore the habitat should be maintained for future generations of fireflies. Currently KSNP is protected as a town park. 

KSNP is one of a few mangrove sanctuaries along the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Located on the southern bank of the Selangor river mouth, KSNP is part of the North-central Selangor Coast’s Important Bird Area- IBA MY11 (the East Asian- Australasian Flyway), a staging and/or wintering grounds for migratory waterbirds. However, the mangrove and mudflats for these waterbirds are reduced due to development. The KSNP roosting site was created in 1987 but now it is overgrown. 

The extant of the firefly habitat is unknown, therefore the need to map out the firefly habitat which includes the display trees, prey and larvae areas. There is a need to ascertain the threats to the presence of the fireflies, the biology and behaviour of the firefly.  

The fireflies may be a bio-indicator on the health of KSNP due to its sensitivity to a changing environment. Manpower is needed to monitor the changes in the firefly's habitats, a citizen science programme will be developed. The local community can be involved, therefore a feeling of ‘ownership’ and made aware of the importance of the fireflies. These results will assist in Park management and action can be taken for habitat recovery. 

Awareness materials will be created for the public to know why KSNP was protected in the first place. An educational night walk program will be develop. 

This project objective is:

1. To study the ecology and biology of the fireflies. 

2. To develop public awareness materials on fireflies for KSNP. 

3. To develop a citizen science materials on fireflies for KSNP.


Project 12253022 location - Malaysia, Asia