Little flashes of dreamy yellow lights dancing in the night sky – fireflies have long been portrayed as an enchanting light display in popular culture, a beloved sight that inspires a childlike sense of wonder and imagination.
Believed by some to contain spiritual energy, these bioluminescent beetles (not flies, despite what their name suggests) don’t just perform in nature’s very own light show, they also play an important role as indicators of healthy natural ecosystems.
Unfortunately, although there are over 2,000 species of fireflies across the globe, populations are dwindling with some even going extinct due to multiple factors including habitat loss, pesticide use, and pollution.
In Ubud, a town on the Indonesian island of Bali, fireflies are a popular tourist attraction often found hidden away from crowded areas, in secluded rice fields or amidst untouched greenery.
Unfortunately, as urbanisation and growing human populations have reduced these natural habitats, fireflies are increasingly at risk of losing their homes.
To help counter the declining numbers, our award-winning ‘no-walls, no-doors’ resort concept Buahan, a Banyan Tree Escape, is launching a new conservation project named Lentera Bumi (earth lantern), which aims to support the growth of local firefly populations.
Since inception, the resort has been committed to sustainable operations and being stewards of the natural landscapes that surround it, starting from villas built with re-purposed Ulin “ironwood” taken from old boat jetties, to its zero waste kitchen concept.
The project takes inspiration from a philosophy known as Tri Hita Karana – a Balinese tradition that values humanity’s interconnection with nature, believing that just as nature provides for us, we should preserve nature in return. Efforts have also come under the careful guidance of biology experts from Udayana University in Denpasar to ensure effectiveness.
For starters, the resort has introduced organic farming practices on its onsite farm and rice field, replacing commercial pesticides and agricultural chemicals with eco-friendly alternatives made with natural ingredients.
A “natural nursery” has also been built to support the fireflies’ breeding process, using large bamboo structures with insect nets that will protect firefly larvae from predators during their most fragile life cycle stages. Organic compost and natural materials have also been added as a food source to help give the fireflies the best chance for survival.
Ultimately, the hope is for this regenerative initiative to inspire both the local community and resort guests to help care for the environment in which they live, while restoring populations of nature’s twinkling forest lights.
Learn more about our firefly conservation programme when you stay at our award-winning adults-only resort Buahan, a Banyan Tree Escape in Bali.