The international freshwater conference is
due to take place in Wuhan,
China's Hubei Province,
this November. While the Chinese host didn't think there
was a need to promote the occasion for the reason that it
is largely an affair of the scientific community, a special
congregation of the residents living in a freshwater lake
in Wuhan decided to take the initiative. Their way of promoting
the event is quite straightforward: they simply make their
presence known to the world. When they appear in a area about
20 km2, it becomes the best PR campaign for the conference.
The special residents in question are known
as "Panda in
Water", an ancient invertebrate species with 550 million
years of history. The swimming pandas are peach jellyfish
(craspedacusta sowerbyi) inhabiting in freshwater, and of
11 of subspecies within peach jellyfish family identified
so far, 9 are native Chinese creatures. These wonderful beings
are transparent, gelatinous, and maintain the typical umbrella
shape, consisted of 99% water.
Like pandas on the land, the pandas in water
are very fussy with their living environment. With increased
pollution levels in China's waterways, in the recent decades
the peach jellyfish is gradually dying out. In 2002, it was
pronounced as one of world's most endangered species.
Chinese responded to the crisis. Since 2000,
the local authority in Wuhan has taken numerous measures
to reverse the trend of deterioration of the ecological systems
on land and in water, including to move factories away from
the areas near waterways, encourage green cultivation of
fish and develop underwater forest by planting large scale
of tape grass, sheathed monochoria and other water-born plantations.
Now after decades of absence, the return of
the peach jellyfish in a large scale is a wonderful sign
of the improvement of the ecosystem in China, at least in
Wuhan, and at least in its river system.
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