TNB powers on firefly research at Sungai Linggi

The country’s largest power company has been playing a leading role in the conservation of fireflies for many years

Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) is continuing its long-term support for the conservation of fireflies at three locations in Peninsular Malaysia.

The firefly colonies in Rembau, Negri Sembilan; Kemaman, Terengganu; and Taiping, Perak, have been under the observation of the utility company’s subsidiary, TNB Research Sdn Bhd, under a three-year research programme which started in May 2017.

The comprehensive and scientific research aims to develop a conservation and habitat rehabilitation protocol for a sustainable firefly ecosystem.

The country’s largest power company has been playing a leading role in the conservation of fireflies for many years. It has rolled out numerous corporate social responsibility projects related to the preservation of flora and fauna, and other similar programmes in the country.

To further display the importance of fireflies and its ecosystem, TNB brought 60 students from schools in Rembau on a one-day education trip in June.

During the visit, the students were briefed on the importance of the firefly colony, its role as part of the delicate ecosystem.

The students also planted mangrove trees at the location.

Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar (MB) Aminuddin Harun had participated in another TNB-initiated firefly project at Kampung Sungai Timun on July 13.

In a speech at Kampung Sungai Timun, TNB senior GM for corporate affairs and communications Datuk Mohd Aminuddin Mohd Amin said

the national utility company is committed to the research and development efforts to ensure the proliferation of the firefly species along Sungai Linggi.

Mohd Aminuddin said activities related to the firefly colony, such as firefly watching, would also become a tourist attraction and woo more people to Rembau.

Researchers estimate there are more than 2,000 firefly species worldwide. It is believed at least four genera can be found in Malaysia, according to a research report by Universiti Putra Malaysia lecturers.

The World Wildlife Fund has recognised Sungai Linggi as one of the two breeding sites for painted river terrapins. The other site being Setiu Wetlands in Terengganu, as reported by a travel magazine.

The river is also one of the few in Peninsular Malaysia that is still known to have a wild breeding population of estuarine or saltwater crocodiles, said the report.

The Rembau-Linggi estuary consists of two main rivers: Rembau and Linggi.

Other tributaries are Ramuan China Besar and Ramuan China Kechil in Melaka; Dua Ulu in Pahang; and Dua Ilir in Negri Sembilan. The main vegetation in the area includes mangrove trees, nipah palms and ferns.

Meanwile, Mohd Aminuddin said TNB has allocated RM31.5 million for infrastructure, cable network extension and the building of sub-stations in Negri Sembilan for 2018.

“This is to ensure electricity supply remains at the highest efficiency level,” he said.