Remember those tiny little lights the glowed in the dark while flitting about ? What we used to call glow-worms ? Ever seen them lately ?

Seems that firefly populations across the globe have been declining at a rapid rate. According to some reports this may be as high as 70%. The usual suspects cited are pollution , urban expansion, declining wilderness etc. A key reason for their decline might be light pollution. It seems our constantly awake and running culture may be playing spoilsport with the fireflies. Light pollution, basically excessive lighting (ever notice how you can see fewer stars in the night sky in the city than the countryside ?), interferes with the fireflies mating rituals leading to maybe smaller and smaller populations (not to mention the problems they already face with shrinking habitat, pesticides, pollution etc).

Well, I don’t know how far this is true in India, but I clearly remember seeing my last firefly sighting more than two years ago in the city. A single lone solitary firefly that left a trail of glowing light as it flew over the path in the darkness of late evening. It was magical, don’t know if I will ever get to see one again in the city.

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