Trails of Glowing Fireflies Light Up Masungi Georeserve in Rizal
Everyone has noticed that the air quality in Luzon has been cleansed since the island entered enhanced community quarantine.
Netizens have been posting pictures of dramatic sunsets and other rare sights, including the fireflies making “magical trails” at Masungi Georeserve. The conservation project in Baras, Rizal shared photos of these stunning fireflies on its Facebook page on May 29.
According to the post, "Fireflies are important bioindicators that can help gauge how healthy an ecosystem is. Bioindicator species are sensitive to pollution or other habitat changes, making them good signs of a thriving ecosystem. We are thankful to see these tonight as it reaffirms our work in protecting the Masungi landscape and restoring its amazing biodiversity."
As of press time, the pictures have already garnered 4,500 reactions and 2,500 shares.
Masungi Georeserve re-uploaded photos of firefly trails on May 31.
According to the caption, the lighting of fireflies is part of their "seduction process."
The georeserve explained: "Males would flash lights to signal females on the ground and to avoid mating with different subspecies (each subspecies has a different flashing pattern). They emit light using a chemical reaction in special organs in their bodies. The light is incredibly energy-efficient, emitting almost 100% light (in contrast to standard light bulbs which emit 10% light and 90% heat)."
According to a study conducted by Sara Lewis, a biology professor at Tufts University, fireflies are highly endangered because they can only live in areas with clean air.
"Meaning, a place where fireflies thrive are a place with clean air," he said.
According to Lewis, fireflies are sensitive to artificial light because "too much artificial light can deter these mating rituals, which can then interfere with their life cycles."
In addition to reducing pollution in Luzon, many fireflies are currently located in the Masungi Georeserve due to its rainforest, which is a sanctuary for hundreds of wildlife species.
Based on the customer hotline, Masungi Georeserve will remain closed to the public until the government announces that tourist attractions in the country can be reopened.
This story originally appeared on Pep.ph. Minor edits have been made by Esquiremag.ph editors.