Future of rare Madison fireflies dim with habitat being cut for timber

Future of rare Madison fireflies dim with habitat being cut for timber

MADISON, Miss. (WLBT) - You can find some of the rarest fireflies in the world in Madison, but the trees they roam through are set to be cut down.

During the day, you can’t see them but Judy Foster said the trees behind her home glitter with synchronous fireflies at night.

“They live in these woods all year round, but you only see them for about 3 weeks between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. They mate. The female deposits the eggs back into the leaf litter which lies all over the ground here in the woods undisturbed. It takes them a year and then they come out and they do it again,” she explained.

However, the future of these bright bugs and other wildlife seems dim.

The Pearl River Valley Water Supply District has marked off the area to cut down for timber.

The land will grow back but Foster’s neighbor, Darlene Manley, doesn’t think it will be the same.

“The fireflies won’t come back. I mean, it’s rare that we have them here to begin with,” said Manley.

“It’s devastating. Devastating because this is such a special area for us. There aren’t that many left in this world and for them to destroy them without a second thought,” said Manley.

The money from selling the timber will go back to the District. Foster and Manley hope their cries will call attention to the problem and help stop the cutting.

“It’s important, all of this is here for a reason. It’s not here just to make money for the state of Mississippi. It’s here for a reason. This was here before Pearl River even owned this. This was not originated by them," said Foster.

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