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Tourists are flocking to see fireflies, putting new stress on vulnerable ecosystems

Tourists are flocking to see fireflies, putting new stress on vulnerable ecosystems

Science
March 11 (UPI) -- Every year, more than a million people travel to watch fireflies and their luminous mating rituals. Firefly tourism, it turns out, is trending. Wildlife tourism has benefits, injecting cash into local economies and raising awareness about environmental problems, but tourism can also put pressure on already vulnerable ecosystems. Advertisement Without stronger protections for firefly beetles, the authors of a new paper -- published Thursday in the journal Conservation Science and Practice -- warn firefly tourism could wipe out local populations. "Firefly tourism has long been popular in countries like Japan, but it's really only started to skyrocket in places like India, the U.S. and Mexico in the past decade or so," lead author Sara Lewis, professor of biology at Tufts U...