By Erik Crouch
Image via Cornell Fungi
Not all of China’s natural beauty is under attack by burger chains and pollution; some is also under attack by crayfish. Hordes of these lobster-like little buggers have been destroying the ancient terraced rice paddies of Yuanyang, so far making some 5,000 acres unusable for cultivation.
The crayfish were first introduced to the area by a
local idiot fellow villager who thought he could raise them for a profit. According to The Telegraph,
The local government is spending 120,000 [pounds] a year to fight the plague of shellfish – killing 3.7 million of the critters last year – and has strictly banned the sale of crayfish in the county. […]
Unesco described the Hani terraces in Yuanyang as a “unique and integrated ecological system… a vast artificial everglade (where) aquatic animals and plants co-existed to meet the basic needs of hundreds of thousands of Hani people”.
Unesco should probably give Yuanyang a check-up, and might consider changing its description to something more like, “a vast artificial everglade (where) the crayfish is king and will destroy your crops and ruin your land.” Just a suggestion.