Rare 'peach blossom' freshwater jellyfish found in SW China

Recently, a rare type of freshwater jellyfish, an umbrella-shaped translucent creature, was spotted at Puzhehei Karst National Wetland Park in southwest China's Yunnan Province.

After a few days of continuous observation, local researchers confirmed that it is the "peach blossom" jellyfish.

Nicknamed the "water panda," the jellyfish is believed to have existed for more than 500 million years and is under China's first-class state protection.

"The species distributes in about four areas that cover more than 3,000 square meters. Its density is over 500 units in one cubic meter," said Xu Kaixiang, director of a pilot program for Puzhehei protection and ecological restoration.

Researchers have noted that the species is very sensitive to environment quality and only inhabits clean waters.

The appearance of the creature comes from the growing volume of zooplankton, a prey for the jellyfish, coupled with dropping algal density plus fewer predators.

"We speculate that the reasons for its appearance include increased food and a drop in the volume of its natural enemies. This indirectly reflects that the overall ecological environment of Puzhehei, especially the water environment, has improved," explained Xu.

Over the past few years, Puzhehei has established a provincial nature reserve and adopted a series of measures for returning farmlands to wetlands.

Now, the water ecosystem there has significantly improved with better water quality and greater biodiversity.

(Cover a screenshot)

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