Fireflies light up the night in Tlaxcala. Fireflies light up the night in Tlaxcala.

It’s time for fireflies in central Mexico

Campaign called Friends of the Fireflies aims to protect the insects from too many tourists

The forests of central Mexico are in the midst of a spectacular, three-month-long firefly show, one that could be lost but for the efforts of a group of environmentalists.

Naturaleza México, an organization dedicated to environmental culture and sustainable development, has created “Amigos de las Luciérnagas,” or Friends of the Fireflies, a national awareness campaign aimed at the conservation of the luminous insects and their habitat, said to be threatened by excessive and uncontrolled tourism.

Focused on the central states of México, Puebla and Tlaxcala and their forests, the campaign is set to begin this year, explained the organization’s director, Hugo García Rodríguez, and has the support of national education and regulatory agencies, and will also involve local ejido-based and private companies.

The campaign will tackle the issue in two ways: by raising awareness through information materials, and through the sale of memorabilia that promotes the cause.

The strategy is expected to have a positive impact on the more than 80,000 tourists expected to visit the biggest firefly sanctuaries in the three states.

The peak firefly sighting season runs from June to August, summer being the insect’s mating season. The ideal time to witness the spectacle of thousands of shimmering fireflies is right after dusk, between 8:30 and 9:30pm.

Source: Sipse (sp), Diario de Puebla (sp)

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