The coastal village of Kampong Kuantan in the state of Selangor, Malaysia is noted for its fireflies (pteropyx tener). The fireflies which flashes every non-rainy night is one of the world's most spectacular insect shows. The local operators formulated strict but informal rules to ensure the sustainability of the fireflies trade. This includes the prohibition of the use of boats with outboard engines to view the fireflies. However, the natural resource is now under threat from potential development projects and errant boat operators with outboard engines. Boats with outboard engines create air and noise pollution. The air pollution distracts the fireflies while noise pollution affects the serenity of the river. Development projects which are planned in the vicinity of the recreational area potentially lead to irreversible catastrophe to the natural resource. This study attempts to assess using the Travel Cost (TCM) and Contingent Valuation Method (CVM). Consumer's surplus per recreationist per trip was found to range between RM62.00 (US $25.00) to RM120 (US $48.00). This yields a gross economic value in the range of RM1.1mill (US $440,000) to RM1.68mill (US $672,000) annually. The results indicate that the economic value of the fireflies recreation is highly substantial. Hence recreational function provided by wetlands or forest resources may be important considerations for natural resource policy and management in Malaysia.


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