Butterflies, insects need human’s aid

A Monarch butterfly, a well-known species that best illustrate insect problems and declines, according to University of Connecticut entomologist David Wagner — AP

I REFER to StarMetro’s Jan 11 article titled “On the road to dwindling butterfly population”.

It is sad that the population of butterflies and other insects in Malaysia is declining.

With losses in their numbers, diversity and species will decrease too. This will adversely affect the flora and fauna ecosystem and ultimately, our food chain.

The root cause of dwindling numbers, according to the experts, lies in over-development and change of land use.

They recommended preserving as much greenery as possible by having parks and small forests in cities.

Planting of trees and flowering plants along roadsides will also attract butterflies and insects.

The experts are rightly advocating that more must be done by the local councils and authorities to stop this extermination.

However, it seems they may have missed out on proactive action and involvement taken by the city or town dwellers, which are of equal importance and impact.Urbanites can help by not cutting down that tree in front of their house unless it is absolutely necessary or unsafe.

Many trees have been cut down because of leaves falling on cars, lawns and porches or for feng shui purpose or to make way for parking space.

Fallen branches, even small ones that do not endanger people or property, are an excuse for residents to get authorities to bring whole trees down when proper trimming will have sufficed.

We have to remember that falling leaves and branches are part of the living system of the tree and to regenerate new growth.

Grow a garden in your home.

Don’t cement that porch to park your car. Instead, green it with a tree if possible and with shrubs and flowering plants.

There are many wonderful stories of condominium owners welcoming insects and birds as guests in their garden balconies.

Back lanes too can be used for planting with pots.

Artificial light outside our homes and in parks are killing off insects by the millions every night.

Switch off unnecessary external house or garden lights and use sensor lights for security.

Most insects and birds need darkness to rest, grow, breed and hide from their predators at night.

These actions and involvement by urbanites are equally significant to stop the dwindling number of butterflies, insects and birds because they add further to the areas for feeding, breeding and shelter. Small gardens and green spaces in homes will form corridors where they can move safely between parks or small forests.

In addition, these green areas will help cool down the concrete jungle and soften the surrounding hardscape.



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butterflies , insects , flora , fauna


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