Wed, Apr 11, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Firefly season under way in many areas

DOS AND DON’TS:Do not make loud noises, shine direct light at fireflies or try to capture them, and cover flashlight lenses with red cellophane, authorities said

By Shen Pei-yao  /  Staff reporter, with CNA

Fireflies glow against a background of blue light from centella, or pennywort plants, at the West Lake Resortopia in Miaoli County’s Sanyi Township in an undated photograph.

Photo: CNA, courtesy of the West Lake Resortopia

Fireflies have returned to Taipei’s Daan Forest Park (大安森林公園) after a decades-long absence, and they can now be seen in several other areas around the nation as well.

The Taipei Public Works Department’s Parks and Street Lights Office and civic groups spent the past three years removing alien plant species from the park and replacing them with native plants in a bid to restore firefly habitats, officials said.

Firefly light trails that were last seen in the park 24 years ago reappeared on March 26, as fireflies were spotted at the park’s No. 3 pond, they said.

A firefly watching festival in Taipei is to open on Monday next week, with the city government recommending Daan Forest Park, Muzha Cui Lake (木柵翠湖), Rongxing Garden Park (榮星花園) and the Shilin Official Residence (士林官邸) as the best places to see fireflies.

People are urged to follow some dos and don’ts when looking for fireflies: Do not make loud noises, do not attempt to capture them, do not shine direct light at them, and cover flashlight lenses with red cellophane to avoid disturbing the insects, city officials said.

Fireflies are very sensitive to light pollution, especially light wavelengths between 360 nanometers and 420 nanometers or between 550 nanometers and 580 nanometers, which can seriously disrupt their ability to reproduce, officials added.

The Parks and Street Lights Office said it would also cover street lights in Daan park with a specialized shade to avoid annoying fireflies.

The firefly season in Taichung’s Dongshi District (東勢) is already underway, the Taichung Agriculture Bureau said on Sunday.

For 14 years the Soft Pond Recreational Agriculture Area (軟埤坑休閒農業區) has held a firefly watching event and visitors can learn about Hakka culture and the ecosystem through a variety of activities, ecological tours or trying Hakka cuisines made from local ingredients, the bureau said.

The Pears Homeland Recreational Agriculture Area (梨之鄉休閒農業區) has several firefly watching trails with local ecological tours, and visitors can also enjoy rural cuisines created by farmers, the bureau said.

Fireflies have also been spotted in mountainous areas in Miaoli County, including West Lake Resortopia (西湖渡假村) in Sanyi Township (三義) and various locations in Dahu (大湖), Nanjhuang (南庄), Zaociao (造橋), Sanwan (三灣), Tongsiao (通霄) and Tongluo (銅鑼) townships.

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