Sat, Apr 26, 2014 - Page 11 News List

Keeping firefly specimens makes for poor environmental education: conservationists
捕螢做標本? 生態教學錯誤示範

A firefly sits perched on a blade of grass in this undated file photo.
這張未標日期的照片呈現一隻棲息在一片草葉上的螢火蟲。

Photo courtesy of the Yunlin County Ecological Conservation Association
照片由雲林縣生態保育協會提供

Recently some elementary school kids in Chiayi County were taken on a field trip in a hired car to watch fireflies in Gukeng Township’s Huashan area. A local guide discovered that nearly every child had an insect jar. Stopping them from using the jars, he effectively kept the kids from collecting specimens and creating a regrettable environmental education situation.

The firefly watching season at Gukeng Township’s Huashan area has officially begun, albeit later than usual this year. Nevertheless, fireflies are indeed greater in number this year when compared to previous years. Yunlin County Ecological Conservation Association volunteer Liao Chi-chao says that since the weather has been intermittently cold and warm and rainfall has been minimal, he only spotted two or three fireflies during the Tomb Sweeping Festival, which had initially caused him to worry about there being a possible dearth of fireflies this year. Fortunately, however, the number of lightning bugs has turned out to be greater than years past since the firefly watching season officially commenced.

Last Saturday was the first day of the firefly watching season, says Liao, adding that more than 200 people crowded the Huashan area. Having people be enthusiastic about firefly watching is a good thing, Liao says, but he still warns that with too many people around it could have a negative impact on the overall lightning bug habitat. Local ecology guide Wu Teng-li says that it is laudable for an elementary school from Chiayi County to come to Huashan for an environmental field trip, but says that it is somewhat ridiculous for every single student to bring an insect jar.

TODAY’S WORDS
今日單字

1. regrettable adj.

遺憾的;可惜的;不幸的 (yi2 han4 de5; ke3 xi2 de5; bu2 xing4 de5)

例: It is regrettable that we didn’t have time to visit the museum during our trip.

(很可惜我們這趟旅行沒時間去參觀博物館。)

2. intermittently adv.

間歇地 (jian4 xie1 de5)

例: The volcano has erupted intermittently over the past century.

(火山在過去百年曾間歇地爆發。)

3. fragile adj.

脆弱的;易受損的 (cui4 ruo4 de5; yi4 shou4 sun3 de5)

例: The material is very fragile, so be careful.

(該材料很容易受損,所以要小心。)


Wu stepped in to stop the students from catching fireflies after a local child complained to staff. The students argued with Wu, saying that their teacher had told them to catch the bugs. The students eventually released the lightning bugs after Wu said that he would have the police come to take care of the matter. Educators should teach more about environmental ethics because respecting life has greater educational value than firefly watching, Wu says. The unspoken rules of firefly watching were also broken that day when two cars were driven into the firefly watching area, Wu says.

Lightning bugs are relatively fragile, which is why Liao says that it is so easy to hurt their wings if you try to catch them in your hands. Fireflies are not suitable pets either, Liao says, adding that once you take them home they will not get enough food and usually die within two or three days. For making ecological observations, you can use nets to catch them and then drop them into a glass jar, Liao says, adding that after using a weak light source to observe them you should release the bugs back to their original habitat.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)

嘉義縣某國小戶外教學,包車至古坑華山地區賞螢,但孩子們幾乎人手一具昆蟲箱,經導覽員發現、制止,孩子們才放棄「做標本」念頭,生態教育才未留下遺憾。

古坑鄉華山賞螢季開鑼,今年螢火蟲雖然遲到,但數量較往年多,雲林縣生態保育協會志工廖啟超表示,天氣忽冷忽熱,雨量又少,清明節只看到兩、三隻,原本很擔心數量太少,所幸賞螢季正式開始後,「火金姑」數量比往年多得多。

廖啟超說,上週六是賞螢季第一天,華山現場擠進兩百餘人,賞螢踴躍是好事,但人數太多,恐怕會影響到螢火蟲生態;生態導覽員吳登立更透露,嘉義縣某國小週日包車至華山生態教學,走出戶外值得肯定,但每個學生都帶著寵物箱,就有點離譜。

學生抓螢火蟲,被在地小朋友投訴,吳登立上前制止,學生還辯說是老師叫他們捉的,後來他說要警察上來處理,學生才把螢火蟲放出來;吳登立直言,老師應多教教環境倫理,尊重生命,比賞螢更具教育意義。此外,當天還有兩部車硬闖賞螢區,也破壞賞螢潛規則。

廖啟超表示,螢火蟲相當脆弱,用手抓容易傷及翅膀,螢火蟲也不適合當寵物,帶回家後因缺乏食物,二、三天內就會死亡;要作生態觀察,可用細網捕捉,讓蟲蟲滑入玻璃瓶中,再用較弱光源照射觀察,之後就應野放回棲地。

(自由時報記者詹士弘)

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