Deforestation threatens firefly habitat near Mexico village

Insight

Deforestation threatens firefly habitat near Mexico village

In a small Mexican village there’s a spectacle from nature that is helping save a logging community from extreme poverty. But at what cost to some majestic insects?

CCTV America’s Martin Markovits reports.
Follow Martin Markovits on Twitter @MartinMarkovits

Deforestation threatens firefly habitat near Mexico village

Deforestation threatens firefly habitat near Mexico village

Although the popularity of the fireflies has given the forest a new life and also put a halt to most logging, some worry that the tourism could actually hurt them. CCTV America’s Martin Markovits reports.

At night, in the middle of the Mexican forest, thousands of fireflies illuminate the night. It is a strange phenomenon that only occurs between the months of June and August, during the fireflies mating period.

It’s become so popular, that last year, 50,000 nature lovers came to Piedra Canteada Park to see this carnival of lights. This natural wonderland is located in the state of Tlaxcala, only two hours from Mexico City.

The destination was the brainchild of a corporative of poor farmers struggling to get by after agricultural prices plummeted. In fact, at one point the town of Nanacamilpa, resorted to logging and in the process almost decimated their forest and the fireflies.

Community leaders then came up with the idea to use the forest and the millions of fireflies that roam the area as a tourist attraction. Now it has become a popular destination for people fleeing Mexico’s crowded urban areas.

Although the popularity of the fireflies has given the forest a new life and also put a halt to most logging, some worry that the tourism could actually hurt them. Sensitive to light and sound their habitat maybe threatened because of their popularity.

The Mexican government has started taking steps to limit human exposure to the fireflies’ site by banning big cars and buses since last year. The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources also hopes that soon, the area will be nationally protected before its too late.


Ryan Sarsfield on deforestation’s global impact

To talk more about the impact of deforestation around the world, CCTV America’s Mike Walker spoke with Latin America Commodities Manager for World Resource Institute’s Global Forest Watch, Ryan Sarsfield.