Older generations in Taiwan often lament how fireflies used to be everywhere when they were kids. Now after four years of rehabilitation, they are once again to be found in the center of Taipei. Here's our report from Taipei's Daan Forest Park.
Fireflies flash in the dark city. With assistance from NGOs and experts, four years ago a rehabilitation program was started in Taipei City's Daan Forest Park, Mucha Park, and Rongxin Park, to reintroduce fireflies which had disappeared from the highly-developed city 25 years ago. Taipei City Government overcame many difficulties and persuaded international experts that the International Firefly Symposium 2017, held only once every three years, should be hosted by Taiwan.
==YANG PING-SHIH, Former Dean of NTU's College of BioResources and Agriculture==
To be honest, the Daan Forest Park was the hardest. First we had to create a pond. We then switched the lights to the ones with a wavelength of 596 nm. You can see them in that area, those yellow lights.
Reintroducing fireflies to Taipei City was hardest in the Daan Forest Park. Each day over 10,000 people use the park and there are light sources concentrated all around the park. The reintroduction team said that just using four to five meter high trees as shelter from light source was not enough, it also had to plant layers of shelter, with trees two or three meters high, and low shrubs of about 80 centimeters. This, coupled with a clean ecological pool, created a suitable environment for the fireflies' survival.
==KO WEN-JE, Taipei City Mayor==
To be honest, it's difficult to host an International convention due to Taiwan's International standing. So far, Taipei City is the only place that has successfully restore firefly habitats in the city after it disappeared for 20 years. As of right now, Taipei is the only city that has accomplished that.
Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je promised that Taipei City would establish 12 ecological parks so that it could advance towards the goal of becoming a more ecologically-sound city.