Monday, April 8, 2013

ESA in the DMZ

White-naped crane adult standing in water © Dave Watts / naturepl.comNorth and South Korea have been in the news quite a bit lately, but did you know that the border between these two countries is also a hot-bed of endangered species conservation?  It turns out that the demilitarized zone, a strip of land 4 km wide and 248 km long which was established as a sort of “no man’s land” after the 1953 ending of the Korean war, is home to 2716 species including at least 67 of the world’s most endangered species (Harvey 2012; Platt 2011).  Species include:

  • the small mountain goat, the Amur goral (Naemorhedus caudatus), listed as vulnerable by the IUCN (IUCN 2012)
  • the Siberian weasel (Mustela sibirica)Siberian weasel © John Holmes / – see photo from ARKive
  • the White Naped Crane (Grus vipio) – see top photo from ARKive
  • the Red-crowned Crane (Grus japonensis) – one of the most endangered birds in the world with only 3,000 individuals surviving in the wild (Wagner 2011)

Many of these species in this area are currently under threat, due to possible hostilities as well as new pressures to develop the land and its buffer zones for agricultural purposes. 



Harvey, F.  6 September 2012.  “Wildlife Haven in the Korean DMZ Under Threat” in the The Guardian.  Accessed online 4/8/13

IUCN.  2012.  “Red List of Endangered Species – Naemorhedus caudatus”  Accessed online 4/8/2013.

Platt, J.  27 September 2011.  “South Korea Seeks to Protect Species in Demilitarized Zone” in Scientific American blogs.  Accessed online 4/8/2013.

Wagner, E. 2011.  “The DMZ’s Thriving Resident: the Crane” in  Accessed 4/8/2013.

No comments:

Post a Comment