(ECNS) -- Environmental activists in China's eastern city of Nanjing are jointly boycotting a planned event to set free 100,000 fireflies at a theme park, the Modern Express reported on Wednesday.
The Huaxi Valley park is home to 500 species of flowers over an area of 20 hectares at the foot of Niushou Mountain. The park plans to release 100,000 fireflies from July 22 to 24 and also on Qixi Festival, Chinese Valentine's Day.
The festival celebrates the annual meeting of the cowherd and weaver girl in Chinese mythology on the seventh day of the seventh month on the Chinese calendar, which is August 9 this year.
Two local environmental protection organizations - Qinghuan Volunteer Service Center and Baidieyuan Ecological Development Center - have led the online protest against the plan.
Zhu Xiangyu with Qinghuan said the park's activity is a promotion designed to appeal to tourists, but the insects glow to attract mates, so there's nothing romantic about it and it's harmful to release a large amount of fireflies into the air.
An expert also said it's highly possible that the result will be a massive number of dead fireflies or an invasion of an exotic species that is harmful to the local variety.
It will cause great damage if the natural balance is disrupted by an invasive species, the expert added.
Nanjing's Zijin Shan, or Purple Mountain, is a city landmark famous for fireflies that have attracted many visitors from across the country. In 2014, the city also built China's first protection zone for fireflies.